Amazon has made the important, if vague, announcement that its DRM-free MP3 downloads will be made available internationally starting in 2008.
Taking its content from all four major record labels internationally will strengthen its position as a superior DRM-free music provider to Apple’s iTunes Store, which doesn’t even offer content from all the major labels yet. Amazon currently provides 3.3M songs from 270,000+ artists, encoded at 256kbps, and priced anywhere between 89 and 99 cents each. Things are similar with iTunes Plus, Apple’s DRM-free music collection: songs are 99 cents each and encoded at 256kbps. However, Apple only provides “up to 2 million iTunes Plus songs” in comparison to Amazon’s 3.3M, giving the latter company a substantial edge with its scope.
Amazon’s MP3 store launched in September and signed up the last major label just this month. The company is declining to provide a “specific launch timeline for individual Amazon international websites.”