Apple tries to quash Amazon’s Daily Deal

Amazon started enhancing its MP3 Daily Deal last year, reaching agreements with labels to put some new releases out a day early. Not only would Amazon get to sell an album on an exclusive early basis, it would even get some additional marketing support from the bands and their labels as the promotions would appear on MySpace pages and Web sites.

“When that happened,” an anonymous music executive tells Billboard, “iTunes said, ‘Enough of that shit.’ ”

Now Apple’s iTunes folks are telling labels to steer clear of Amazon’s Daily Deal promotion or  else, Billboard reports: “Sources say that iTunes representatives have been urging labels to rethink their participation in the Amazon promotion and that they have backed up those warnings by withdrawing marketing support for certain releases featured as Daily Deals.”

Vampire Weekend’s Contra sold on Amazon for $3.99 on Jan. 11, a day before its official release, and certainly helped it debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 that week. But labels for Ke$ha, Corinne Bailey Rae and Lady Antebellum backed out of Daily Deal promotions, fearing Apple’s wrath, Billboard reports.  (Sony denies Ke$ha’s album was part of any discussion.)

Amazon is adjusting its promotion but iTunes, the No. 1 music retailer, is still squawking, according to Billboard. “They are . . . diverting their energy from ‘let’s make this machine better’ to ‘let’s protect what we got,’ ” an unnamed music industry source tells the magazine.

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