Amazon is expanding into hosting live events and kicking off with a series of live music gigs across London.
The move comes two years after the internet giant first began selling tickets for live shows in the U.K., an initiative that has yet to be rolled out to any other markets. With Prime Live Events, Amazon is taking things a step further by organizing gigs from major artists from around the world who will play in small venues across the U.K. capital.
Starting on May 23, rock band Blondie will play in the 750-person capacity Round Chapel, followed by Alison Moyet a few weeks later, then Texas and Katie Melua over the next month. More gigs will be announced later in the year.
At £150 ($195), the Blondie tickets aren’t cheap, plus you can only purchase one if you’re already a Prime member. But tickets don’t go on sale for another couple of days, which gives consumers plenty of time to sign up for a Prime membership. And that’s the real point here.
Moreover, Amazon is using its Prime Live Events investment wisely by filming the gigs, so even if you don’t manage to get a ticket, you’ll still be able to watch on Amazon Prime Video globally afterwards. And yes, this requires that you have a Prime subscription.
Amazon has been adding an increasing number of perks to its Prime membership as it works to hook consumers into its ecommerce ecosystem, and the subscription now includes music and video-streaming services, online food ordering, and free delivery of goods, among other benefits. The general concept behind it makes sense — if you’re paying around $100 a year to be a member of Amazon Prime, you will be more likely to buy things from Amazon. And as the company extends its reach into more verticals, including tickets, live gigs, and original video content, the company is making the annual Prime membership harder to resist.
“We want to offer Prime members the best live entertainment experience they’ve ever had by giving them the chance to see their favorite artists perform up close and personal in iconic and intimate venues,” said Geraldine Wilson, general manager of Amazon Tickets, in a press release.
Amazon isn’t the first tech company to align itself with live music for promotional purposes. Apple has operated the Apple Music Festival, formerly the iTunes Festival, in London for more than a decade. And last year Google elected to promote its new Pixel phones and Daydream VR through a series of music festivals in the U.S. that were also livestreamed to the masses.