For music fans who like their songs downloaded rather than on CD, iTunes has been the industry giant for a decade, with well over half of all download sales coming through it. However, Amazon's mp3 store has been growing in popularity for several years now, partly because Amazon never coded its mp3s with Digital Rights Management, or DRM, a feature of iTunes that prevented fans from sharing their music with family or friends.
We've noted for a few years that SoulTrackers were increasingly turning to Amazon rather than iTunes, and now there's evidence that maybe it's because they're savvy shoppers [Note: in response to this, we've been transitioning our links on SoulTracks from iTunes to Amazon]. A new study shows that Amazon may be gaining ground because it has substantially better prices than iTunes. In a story this week in TechSpot, the results were rather surprising:
"Over the course of four weeks, our staff noted the prices on a variety of singles and albums at iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play. Each week, we checked the prices of Billboard's top 20 singles and albums, as well as CMJ's top 20 albums (to account for indie offerings). The results of this research show that Amazon offers a better album price than iTunes 77.5% of the time. For shoppers who are primarily interested in Billboard's top albums, then Amazon music downloads are cheaper a whopping 84% of the time."
According to the article, the average album at Amazon was more than a dollar cheaper than iTunes. And with both stores having essentially the same selection, Amazon's prices have made it a very attractive alternative that could have saved Americans over $70 million last year alone. Wow.