As if yesterday’s Apple-Beats deal confirmation wasn’t enough news in the land of music streaming, Amazon will apparently be launching a music streaming service of its own.
As a service part of its Prime membership offerings, it will offer music as new as six-month-old releases and launch in June or July, according a BuzzFeed report.
The music service, the official name of which is still unknown, will make available a large collection of songs through deals Amazon has signed with music labels. But not everything will be included, unlike Spotify’s pitch to consumers that it carries “all the world’s music” in one hub.
Amazon has reportedly already signed deals with two of the three major record labels (Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group) and several independent labels, though the status of the third label is currently unknown. Amazon will be picking which songs and albums to stream from the ones available to it based on data from its other music and media offerings. This is also similar to the deal Amazon signed with HBO last month, making older HBO shows available to Amazon to cherry-pick for its video service.
This is the latest of the services Amazon is making available to its Prime members, which already include Prime Instant Video and a range of Prime ordering and shipping options.
This is an interesting move for Amazon considering the current state of the music industry, the recent price hike for Prime membership to $99 per year, and the company’s seeming attempt to turn as many customers onto or more deeply embedded into its Prime service. Digital track sales were down 12.5 percent in the first half of 2014 as compared to a year ago, and total streams have gone up by 34.7 percent according to Nielsen.
Amazon has been adding services to its Prime program in what looks like an attempt to turn it into a hub for everything (or a lot of the things) one would need. Dash make shopping lists easy. Prime Pantry sends quick orders or everyday orders. AmazonFresh delivers local grocery items with same-day-delivery. Instant Video is like Netflix streaming, and now the music service will be the Spotify-like element.
As one of the reported 20 million Prime members, why would you need anything other than Amazon for most of your needs?
Interestingly, Amazon Instant Video usage has only gone up by 350 percent since launch in 2011, so it will be interesting to see what happens with this music service.