The Amazon Appstore is missing two things that Android users can get through Google's Android Market: Pandora and free MP3s.
Pandora has long been one of the more popular free apps. The company boasts 80 million registered users. On Thursday morning it was No. 24 free app at iTunes and the No. 6 free app at the Android Market (No. 1 in Music & Audio category). But the app is not yet available at the new Amazon Appstore, which launched Tuesday.
Pandora does not talk about relationships with other companies unless there is something specific to announce, Billboard was told. "At the moment, we are not part of the Amazon Appstore," a company publicist wrote in an email. So, no comment means nothing to announce yet in regards to the Amazon Appstore.
Is Amazon keeping out Pandora in an effort to protect its music sales? Unlikely. While Amazon lacks Pandora, it does offer Slacker, a Pandora competitor that offers personalized Internet radio and custom channels, as well as radio aggregators TuneIn Radio, Flycast and radioBee. And let's not forget that Apple, the biggest music seller in the U.S., allows all sorts of radio and music apps into its App Store.
And it's worth noting that Amazon's Appstore has only 4,200 apps right now. So it's going to miss something. It just so happens that it's missing the king of free music apps.
Beyond the unavailability of Pandora, perhaps more important is the fact that Amazon's Appstore is also missing the dozens - if not hundreds - of free MP3 apps that are available at Android Market. These apps use public search engines to locate MP3 files and download directly to the mobile devices.
Judging from their ranks on the Music & Audio page, these MP3 apps are being downloaded as often or more than legitimate music services. For example, Amazon MP3 is No. 5, Slacker Radio is No. 9 and Vevo is No. 12.