Amazon, MySpace Shakes Up Digital Music Scene

Seattle MySpace members who want to download and transfer music to a portable device, such as Apple Inc.'s iPod, can now buy songs through Amazon.com Inc.'s year-old downloading service, which sells songs for as little as 79 cents apiece, according to the Associated Press. Apple’s iTunes’ store sells songs for 99 cents. The move is a part of a service launched on Thursday by MySpace that gives its roughly 120 million users free access to hundreds of thousands of songs from the world's largest recording labels. The catch is that the music can be played only on personal computers connected to the Internet, and listeners have to tolerate advertising splashed across the screen. Amazon’s 79 cents download offer allows members to transfer songs onto their portable device.

The recording labels are betting these implicit recommendations will cultivate more interest in more songs and eventually generate revenue to help recoup some of the revenue that has evaporated as CD sales have plunged from $12 billion in 1999 to a projected $5 billion this year, the report said.