Amazon.com has agreed licensing deals for its iTunes Match-rivalling Cloud Player with all four major labels.
More than 150 independent distributors, aggregators and music publishers have also signed licensing deals with the service, which now includes scan and match technology - which allows users to easily replicate the music on their home PC in the Cloud.
In a direct rival to iTunes' Match service, Amazon will now scan customers’ iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries and matches the songs on their computers to Amazon’s 20 million song catalogue.
All matched songs – even music purchased from iTunes or ripped from CDs – are instantly made available in Cloud Player and are upgraded for free to high-quality 256 Kbps audio. Music that customers have already uploaded to Cloud Player also will be upgraded.
Amazon Cloud Player customers can transfer their music on devices including Kindle Fire, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android devices and any web browser. The online retail giant has also announced that its Cloud service will soon be compatible with Roku streaming players and Sonos home entertainment systems.
“We are constantly striving to deliver the best possible customer experience for Cloud Player, and today we are offering our customers a significant set of new features, including scan and match technology and audio quality upgrade,” said Steve Boom, Vice President of Digital Music at Amazon. “We are happy to have such broad industry support in enabling these features for customers.”
“Music fans are passionate consumers, so making it as easy as possible for them to buy music and enjoy it anywhere, anytime and on any device, is important to us,” stated Rob Wells, President of Global Digital Business at Universal Music Group. “And Amazon’s new service does just that by enabling fans to find, discover and experience more music than ever before. UMG is committed to working with innovative services like Amazon to provide consumers more choice and to expand the marketplace even further for digital music.”
“Amazon is an important destination for music fans, and we’re pleased to see them creating innovative music services that offer fans the ability to enjoy their music conveniently on all their devices,” said Mark Piibe, Executive Vice President of Global Business Development for EMI Music. “Cloud Player makes it easy for users to have their entire music collection at their fingertips wherever they are, so that they’ll get even more value from the music they buy, and will form an even deeper connection with the artists they love.”
“Cloud technology is producing a powerful new generation of entertainment experiences, making the discovery of new content easier and offering instant access to music across multiple devices. Amazon’s locker service has an impressive set of capabilities, which expand the value of owning music. It will give fans greater flexibility with their libraries and entice new customers to explore the benefits of a digital collection,” said Stephen Bryan, Executive Vice President, Digital Strategy & Business Development, Recorded Music, Warner Music Group.
“We are excited to be working with Amazon to offer consumers the ability to enjoy their music anywhere—on any device—with Cloud Player,” said Dennis Kooker, President, Global Digital Business and U.S. Sales, Sony Music Entertainment. “Amazon continues to innovate on behalf of music fans, and we believe our new licensing agreement makes it easier and more convenient than ever for Amazon customers to access, discover and ultimately buy more music.”
Cloud Player is available in a Free tier and a Premium tier. Cloud Player Premium customers can import and store up to 250,000 songs in Cloud Player for an annual fee of $24.99 (US price).