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Amazon MP3 Already US #2, Catching iTunes

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Choice, it's a wonderful thing...

Stats were not made available, but just six months since launch Amazon MP3 has quietly worked its way to second place in the US online music space behind only iTunes.

The progress has been fuelled largely by Amazon's DRM-free only approach to its catalogue which means all tracks sold can be played back on any music-capable device on the market. Furthermore, the monstrous 'etailer' has secured DRM-free deals with all the so-called 'Big Four' record labels and many independents which has bulged its catalogue to a whopping 4.5m songs.

By contrast Apple - which was actually first out the DRM-free gate with EMI last April - has failed to significantly enlarge its DRM-free offerings since and agreements with Sony BMG, Universal and Warner still appear a long way off. Vitally, iTunes entire music catalogue - at 6m tracks - is rapidly being caught by Amazon.

Of course, many industry commentators believe the labels are making an example of Apple, having become frustrated at the Cupertino company's despotic approach to negotiations and the almost monopolistic hold of its iPod players.

So six months on and all looks rosy for Amazon and with a global roll-out scheduled for the second half of 2008, Jeff Bezos is likely to have a smile from ear-to-ear.

Perhaps it's time to start being a little nicer Steve...?

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