Report: iTunes Pressuring Record Labels Away From Amazon

Looks like the potential for Amazon’s mp3 store might have some at Apple’s iTunes store a little worried. A new report claims that iTunes has been using its leverage to keep the record labels from making potentially high-profile deals with Amazon.

According to Billboard, iTunes weren’t very happy when major artists started showing up in Amazon’s deeply discounted “Daily Deal,” which since its inception had grown from a bargain bin to, according to a source for the story, “something where the labels make arrangements to provide an exclusive selling window with Amazon for a big release expected to do a lot of business on street date.”

As the Daily Deal grew in importance, Amazon reportedly began requesting exclusive promotion and early release dates from the record labels. And iTunes was apparently unhappy about seeing Amazon making their money.

To combat any further losses to Amazon, the article claims that iTunes started telling the record companies that they would withdraw their promotion of any albums or artists made available through the Daily Deal.

In an effort to continue with Daily Deals, Amazon has reportedly been tweaking their promotions, no longer requesting early release dates.

Billboard points out that there may be a happy medium, with record companies utilizing Amazon’s Daily Deals for albums that wouldn’t receive the same priority placement on iTunes.

“The whole issue is a kind of interesting dynamic,” the story quotes a senior major-label distribution executive as saying. “Amazon is fighting a guerrilla war against iTunes, and now iTunes is getting frustrated because they work hard to set up and promote a release weeks in advance of the street date, and then lo and behold, Amazon jumps in there with this deal of the day and scrapes off some of the cream.”

APPLE AGONISTES [Billboard]