July 6 (Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc., the world’s largest online retailer, increased the amount of space available to users of its music-storage service and introduced an application that plays songs on Apple Inc.’s iPad.
For $20 a year, customers of Cloud Drive now can get unlimited space for their downloaded music files, the Seattle- based company said today in a statement. Purchases made through Amazon’s online store are stored for free.
Amazon’s new Cloud Player for the iPad is similar to software that the company offers for Google Inc.’s Android devices. The program lets users play back music that they’ve stored on the Web. The upgrade follows the unveiling of Cloud Player in March, when Amazon joined the ranks of music-streaming services.
Amazon, Google and Apple are racing to offer entertainment via cloud computing, which delivers streaming media over the Internet rather than requiring users to keep it on their hard drives. Apple introduced its iCloud service in June, letting users share files across different Internet-linked devices.
Record companies also have struck licensing deals with existing music-streaming sites, such as Spotify Ltd., Rdio Inc. and Music Unlimited. After years of piracy and declining compact-disc sales, the music industry is counting on cloud services to help them rebound.
Amazon rose $1 to $214.19 at 4 p.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The stock has climbed 19 percent this year.
--Editors: Nick Turner, Stephen West
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