Apple dominates digital music sales, with nearly 70% of the market, while Amazon is far behind at about 12%, NPD Group reported last year. So it’s easy to see why Amazon is so eager to pry consumers from Apple and its iTunes ecosystem. And the new Amazon MP3 store optimized for iPhones and iPod touch offers people who have those devices their first opportunity to buy and listen to tunes bought directly from Amazon, the e-retail giant says. They can avoid iTunes — where Apple takes a cut of transactions — and buy directly from Amazon by using a web app that works within the Safari browser. That could be a big deal to frequent buyers: Top selling singles typically go for 99 cents on Amazon, and $1.29 on iTunes. “Since the launch of the Amazon Cloud Player app for iPhone and iPod touch, a top request from customers has been the ability to buy music from Amazon right from their devices,” says Amazon Music VP Steve Boom. Songs bought from Amazon also can play on non-Apple devices including web browsers, Android-powered phones and tablets, and Roku and Sonus home entertainment systems.
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