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Amazon reportedly considering standalone streaming music service

By | Published on Monday 1 February 2016


Having had a jolly good time providing some musical streams as part of its Amazon Prime set up, now the etailer has got it into its head that it would be a good idea to launch a standalone streaming music service of the Spotify variety. Fools!

We are basing this news on sources cited by the New York Post last week, that reckon early-doors conversations are underway with the labels about Amazon getting licences for a full-on streaming platform.

The music strand of Amazon Prime, of course, is a limited service in that it has a much smaller catalogue than the likes of Spotify and Apple Music, with a bigger focus on catalogue rather than new releases.

For music rights owners, it is a lot less lucrative because the music is just a sideshow to the video-on-demand and free delivery elements of Amazon Prime, and the whole thing has a cheaper price point than a premium subscription on the standalone music steaming set-ups.

The etailer’s argument is that the sorts of people using Amazon Prime would never sign up to a standalone music service, so its musical streams do not compete with Spotify or Apple Music, and therefore any royalties the labels and publishers do receive from the music side of Prime is basically free money.

If it did go head-to-head with the standalone music streamers, the labels and publishers would seek a deal more closely in line with Spotify et al, even though Amazon would presumably seek to exploit its existing dominance in the mail-order market and its existing download business.

Though one attraction for the labels might be that Prime Music could become an upsell platform for the full-on Amazon streaming service, assuming the existing limited catalogue streams are something you stumble across after joining the Prime scheme to get free delivery or, possibly, access to those telly exclusives the firm has been buying in of late.

The Post reckons that Amazon planning a full-on music streaming platform is part of CEO Jeff Bezos’s ambition for his company to become the one-stop shop for on-demand digital content, in addition to dominating mail-order. It may also be because Amazon, like Apple, has seen its download store take a considerable hit in the last two years.