The transition didn't take long. Three days ago, Sony BMG announced plans to make part of its music catalog available in digital rights management-free MP3 format through a new MusicPass service involving cards sold at retail stores. Today, the New York Times reports that Sony BMG has agreed to start selling all its music on Amazon's Amazon MP3 service next month.
As the NYT explains, Sony BMG is the last of the "big four" record companies to ink a deal with Amazon, which has already signed up with EMI, Universal, and Warner. Sony BMG's music catalog includes artists like Avril Lavigne, Bob Dylan, Dido, Jennifer Lopez, Pearl Jam, Santana, System of a Down, and Justin Timberlake.
Amazon MP3 offers songs for 89 to 99 cents a piece and some full albums for less than five bucks, although a few releases do cost much more. Considering the prices offered and the fact that the tracks can be played on practically any device, be it iPod, Zune, or cell phone, Amazon MP3 is becoming a serious competitor to iTunes. Amazon MP3's reach doesn't yet extend to non-U.S. markets where iTunes is already established, however.