- Associated Press - Friday, April 29, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Amazon.com Inc. this week launched a store that sells digital songs for 69 cents, an attempt to bring more people to its e-commerce website and bolster its plan to eventually charge people to store tunes on distant servers known as the cloud.

It has cut the price on singles to 69 cents in the past, but this is the first time it has dedicated a page to the offering. About 200 songs out of the 15 million available have had prices cut to 69 cents.

On Friday, that included 26 of the top 40 songs, from artists such as Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez and Black Eyed Peas. Other songs are priced as high as $1.29 apiece.

Craig Pape, the director of Amazon Music, said cutting prices creates a “halo effect” that helps music sales and improves the site’s music recommendation engine.

“It’ll give a boost that lasts into the future,” he said.

The discounted music pricing follows the Seattle-based company’s introduction in March of Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon Cloud Player, which allow people to store music on its servers and play back tunes over mobile devices that use Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

People with an Amazon account get 5 gigabytes of free storage. Songs that are bought on the store are not counted toward the storage cap, but Pape said the offerings are meant to act together.

“All of that ties into this experience of getting them to discover and buy and listen to more music, so it’s all interrelated,” he said.

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