Amazon steps up iTunes rivalry in the UK with Autorip launch

AMAZON launched a new service yesterday that will give UK customers a free MP3 version of any CD and vinyl records they have bought from the website since 1999, when it first opened its music store in the UK.

The digital copies will be automatically added to the customer’s Cloud Player, the online music storage service that Amazon launched in September last year as part of a push to compete with similar offerings from iTunes Match and Google Play.

The Autorip catalogue includes more than 350,000 albums that customers can now stream instantly from any web browser or download to their mobile devices including Kindle Fire, iPhone, and iPad.

Amazon said Autorip has been very popular in the US since it launched in January, and the service was extended to France, Germany, and Italy earlier this week.

Autorip is Amazon’s latest attempt to gain market share after leading the UK retail music market in 2012 with 25.6 per cent of expenditure but lagging behind iTunes in digital sales.

Both iTunes and Amazon are looking to grab sales from HMV, the UK high street retailer that entered administration in January.

HMV’s flagship store on Oxford Street is set to become a Sports Direct shop, after a deal made by Mike Ashley for the 60,000 square feet spaced emerged this week.