Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN - Analyst Report) recently announced that its Amazon Cloud Player app for Apple’s (AAPL - Analyst Report) devices such as iPad and the iPad mini is available in the Apple App Store.
The app will allow iPad users to download music, which is already stored in the Cloud Player. Amazon launched the Cloud Player app for iPhone and iPod touch last year and is now extending the service to Apple’s most popular device, iPad. Thus, it is a smart move from Amazon making its cloud player available on a larger number of devices.
The app can be downloaded on the iPad from the App Store for free. As many as 250 imported songs can be stored on the player for free. Music lovers with a large collection can store up to 250,000 imported songs for an annual fee of $24.99.
Amazon’s Cloud Player is a web storage application, which allows people to listen to music from any computer or Android device with Internet access. It allows streaming on devices such as Kindle Fire, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac and PCs. Amazon does not share the exact numbers, but the Cloud Player has apparently roped in millions of users since its launch in early 2011.
Amazon has been offering its Cloud Player on Sonos home entertainment systems, Roku streaming players and Samsung smart TVs. Further, it has extended its reach to Apple’s smart devices as well as to a few Ford (F - Analyst Report) models.
Thus, Amazon’s strategy of widening its reach is quite smart. It is hoping to add more users to the Amazon cloud and drive the sale of Amazon’s other digital goods. Therefore, while iTunes still leads in the segment, Amazon’s tactics could help the company gain larger market share.
Despite being the pioneer of facilitating music storage on the Internet for access on any device, Amazon’s Cloud Player is still far behind Apple’s iTunes. New rivals like Google as well as streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer and Rdio have also entered the market.
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, Amazon reported revenues of $21.3 billion, up 54.0% sequentially and 22.0% from the year-ago quarter. This was within the guidance of $20.3–22.8 billion (up 55.7% sequentially, or up 23.3% year over year at the mid-point), although short of our expectations. Year-over-year revenue growth was 23% excluding unfavorable currency impact.
Amazon is one of the leading players in the extremely fast-growing retail ecommerce market. While the strong growth prospects are making the market more competitive by the day, Amazon continues to maintain and even grow its share on the back of its consistent and reliable service. Amazon’s scale of offerings, its broad reach and platform approach are the keys to its success.
Amazon has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).