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Meanwhile, Warner is looking into other Internet options such as streaming subscriptions, locker services and secure song-swapping. As well as exploiting that whole AOLTW synergy.
WARNER AND AMAZON.COM TEST DOWNLOAD WATERS
Label Selling The Cow, Retailer Giving Away The Milk For Free
Yesterday Warner Music became the last to join the other majors in selling downloadable albums online. The initial launch is modest, with sell five albums in Liquid Audio and Windows Media formats, priced between $10.98 and $16.98, including titles from Alice Cooper, Barenaked Ladies, Vitamin C, Olu Dara and the Matthew Good Band. Obviously, a shrewd marketing step—testing the system with safe titles for a modest traffic flow.

Warner will offer the albums through online retailers, including BestBuy.com, CDNow, Tower Records and others, and will release another group of albums in the near future, in addition to offering singles and Internet-exclusive tracks. The current downloadable LPs can only be exported to a portable player; the tracks cannot be burned to CD. Customers will have to download tracks from Napster if they want to do that.

Meanwhile, Warner is looking into other Internet options such as streaming subscriptions, locker services and secure song-swapping. As well as exploiting that whole AOLTW synergy.

Also participating in the download fun, online retailer Amazon.com launched its free download community today. The company's MP3 and Liquid Audio download offer is the latest attempt to test the promotional viability of downloads.

Amazon's download area debuts today with exclusive—and more importantly to you cheap asses who never pay for music—free downloads from the Beastie Boys, Pearl Jam, Coldplay, Barenaked Ladies and the Eagles. In addition, the site will also feature downloadable tracks from The Red Hot Organization's "Red Hot + Indigo" CD, featuring Mary J. Blige, The Roots and Kenny Burrell, to name a few, and songs from previous Red Hot artists such as U2, Nirvana and David Bowie. In addition, the site will also host an online auction with The Red Hot Organization, featuring one of a kind celebrity items, autographed prints, etc.

"We've created the first free music downloads community that benefits everyone involved; fans, artists and labels," said Amazon.com's Music Store GM Andy Jassy, who also credits the company with creating a successful jelling process and eliminating world hunger.

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