The Amazon AutoRip service is available to both existing and old customers. Users don't need to perform any actions to get their previously bought content loaded on Amazon's Cloud Player. The service currently includes over 50,000 albums on Amazon Music Store which includes both new and previously released music albums. Amazon has inked deals with all major record labels including EMI, Sony and Warner. The company has also signed up agreements with several independent music companies.
CDs are the second best selling products on Amazon's online store, the first being books. According to reports, physical music still makes up for 50% of the music bought in the United States. The numbers are event higher for some other countries. Amazon's Cloud Player works on all Amazon Kindle Fire tablets, iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Android smartphones and tablets and some other devices. The service will empower Amazon's customers and is expected to boost usage of Amazon's Cloud Player service.
Amazon Cloud Player currently offers up to 250 imported songs. Digital music matched by the AutoRip service will not count in the free tier storage. So users don't need to bother if they've purchased a ton of music CDs in the past. Amazon allows users to upgrade to 250,00 songs at a yearly price of $24.99. The AutoRip service will work the same way Google and Apple do it. These services scan for music and then match it with content in the cloud so that the user doesn't need to upload individual tracks to the cloud. While Google's service is currently free of cost, Apple's iTunes Match is priced at $24.99 per year.
AutoRip is currently available in the United States. Amazon plans to launch the service in other countries where Amazon has a music store. These include UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan.
With this announcement, Amazon will not only compete with similar services from Google and Apple but it will also meet head-on with popular streaming services launched recently. Amazon claims that the company has make significant investments in digital music and has asked users to expect more "cool stuff" from Amazon's Cloud Player this year. It is clear how Amazon is steering customers towards the cloud to help strengthen its ecosystem. This way Amazon's customers are more likely to buy forthcoming devices and services under the Amazon cloud. With the right price tag, Amazon might just please more customers than expected.
Amazon’s Cloud Player is just one slice of the pie Amazon is cooking for its customers in the near future. Amazon has its own mobile application store, a range of tablet devices, Cloud Drive that lets users access files on the cloud and the recently launched Cloud Photos that lets users access photos on the cloud.