Update, May 26, 2011, 10:23AM GMT -
Today, May 26th, Amazon restarted the limited offer to buy the whole album for $0.99. Apparently they want some more promotion of their cloud drive and at the same time make sure no one is angry over missing this opportunity. We also bought a copy for the fun of it.
On Monday Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, also known as Lady Gaga
released her second album "Born This Way", which was highly anticipated by fans of the pop star. In a bid to promote its cloud music storage, Amazon
went ahead and offered the whole album containing 14 tracks at 99 cents. This was a one day limited offer and for any deal hunter, this was a must have.The offer that brought Amazon's web servers crashing down
As an unexpected side effect, due to the steamed-up demand the servers of Amazon crawled to a halt. Amazon stated that anybody who ordered the album on Monday will get it at the promotional price even if the download didn't work due to technical difficulties.
There are a few things to consider here. At this discount Amazon is losing quite a bit of money, as the company has to pay around $9 to UMG per album
according to the Wall Street Journal. For comparison, the album costs $11.99 in Apple's iTunes Store. At press time, Amazon still discounts the album at $6.99 per unit
. This includes an unprotected MP3 download (which you can freely upload to your iTunes, for instance) and a digital booklet in PDF format.
The music files are also transferred to the Amazon Cloud Drive which comes with a free 5GB of storage. Currently there is also a promotion offered to get a free year of the 20GB plan if one purchases a whole album of music. Earlier the cloud music storage raised some controversy among recording companies. Amazon didn't acquire licenses of music labels, as they believe their service is the online equivalent of a portable hard drive.
Google offers a similar service using a similar approach - online storage without the need of music licenses. However, Apple reportedly works on providing iCloud, its own music cloud storage service
and contrary to the other companies is working hard on signing licensing deals with major recording companies. This would allow them to offer a "scan and match" service, which scans the users music library and then opens access to master recordings stored on their servers. The main benefit would be that the user saves time and bandwidth which would be needed to upload the songs.
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