It not exactly a price war just yet, but iTunes has 302 songs priced at 69 cents songs acting as a counterweight to Amazon's 226 69-cent songs.
In the last two weeks, iTunes added 15 new collections of songs priced at 69 cents and gave them home-page placement. But they're not the current hits that Amazon is offering at a discount. Instead, they are well known catalog songs grouped together in themed collections.
The "69-cent No. 1s" collection includes America's "A Horse With No Name," Nickelback's "How You Remind Me" and Eric Clapton's "My Father's Eyes." There are other collections for songs from the '90s and '00s and genres such as Latin, country, Christian and hip hop. There's the 15-song "69-cent Hair Metal Songs" collection that boasts Skid Row's "18 and Life," Winger's "Headed for a Heartbreak" and Faster Pussycat's "House of Pain." Word Music has a 60-song sampler of 69-cent religious songs. And Jeremy Camp and The Cars each have their own collections.
Amazon currently has 226 songs at 69 cents (up from 204 songs two weeks ago) such as Katy Perry's "E.T.," Lady Gaga's "Judas," Lady Antebellum's "Just a Kiss" and Jessie J's "Price Tag." These 69-cent songs make up most of Amazon's best-sellers list - including nine out of its top ten. However, the top song, Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," is selling for $1.29.
These low-price tracks are most likely making just a slight impact on track sales (which were up 10% through May 8, according to Nielsen SoundScan). Amazon's small market share means low prices on hit tracks won't move the needle much. And iTunes' low-priced songs are slow-moving catalog tracks. In any event, consumers have the luxury of shopping around for good deals while the two MP3 leaders dabble in digital discounting.