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Amazon.com beefs up Latin music store

A worker checks a shipment of outgoing boxes at the Amazon.com warehouse facility in New Castle, Delaware, November 24, 2006. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Amazon relaunched its Latin music store Friday, with video content from top artists, more bilingual product descriptions and a selection that’s grown by at least 10% in less than a year.

The online retailer will also shortly introduce blogs by Latin artists on their product pages, as well as partner with them for video debuts and possible event sponsorships, music category manager Craig Pape says.

“We obsessively look at three core pillars of selection, value and discovery, and we’re always going through our store and saying, ‘Are there ways we can challenge ourselves to improve in all these areas?’” says Pape, whose store is turning 10 this year. “We know that the Hispanic consumer is one of the fastest-growing online customer segments.”

Building on sales-driving video debuts with artists like Bruce Springsteen and Annie Lennox, Amazon will put a video player on its Latin store and have artists post blogs in Spanish, along with video and images to their product pages -- an initiative that has rolled out with just a handful of artists in other genres so far.

First up for feature video play at Amazon’s Latin store will be Camila, Flex, Kumbia All-Starz and RBD, though with videos that are already out. Latin artists who will blog and/or debut videos are still being finalized.

The company won’t reveal how much its Latin music sales have grown over time, but says it increased its selection of Latin titles to 140,000 (not including individual digital tracks) after an analysis of its Latin category in mid-2007. Some of that increase was accomplished by re-directing international/world music titles to the Latin category, but the company says the Latin selection will grow another 15% in the coming year.

In addition to providing more product details in Spanish, a Spanish-language campaign has begun on the site to encourage customers to write reviews.

Reuters/Billboard

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