Amazon on Thursday launched a widget that bloggers and Web-site owners can use to make money by showcasing and playing song samples from the online retailer's catalog of 5 million tunes.
The MP3 Clips Widget lets users pick the song and albums they want to display or select the latest bestsellers or new releases within a specific genre. The mini-application, which is embedded in a blog or Web page, can also be set up to play a 30-second sample of song.
Amazon has recently launched several widgets as part of a marketing program to get the company's product offerings displayed on third-party sites. The company, for example, also offers widgets for previewing TV shows and movies available through Amazon.
Bloggers and Web-sites that use Amazon widgets can join the company's marketing program called Amazon Associates. When a visitor clicks through a widget to Amazon.com and makes a purchase, the hosting site or blogger may earn up to 10% in referral fees.
"The Amazon Associates Program offers a suite of digital products that make it fast and easy for anyone to monetize their Web presence," Dave Cotter, director of Amazon Associates, said in a statement.
Amazon.com sells digital music that's free of digital rights management technology, which means buyers can play the music in any portable media player, such as the Apple iPod or Microsoft Zune. Amazon.com does not provide the software to play and organize downloads on a PC. Instead, it leverages a customer's available software, such as Apple iTunes.
While the flexibility of DRM-free music sounds appealing, Amazon.com's music store has had little impact on the Web's most popular music retailer, iTunes. Only 10% of Amazon.com's MP3 customers had previously bought digital tunes from Apple's online store, according to The NPD Group.