Amazon to launch Prime streaming music service?

A box from Amazon.com is pictured on the porch of a house in Golden

According to sources close to the matter, Amazon is currently in discussion with record labels as the company reportedly gears up to launch a music streaming contender in the same vein as Spotify. The service would most likely debut as part of the bundled goods included with Amazon Prime, the retailer’s membership plan that provides free two-day shipping as its main perk.

Also included with Prime, however, is a Netflix-style movie and television streaming service. The launch of streaming music makes sense as an added incentive for those willing to pay the $79.99 yearly subscription fee, although one label source expressed doubt that Amazon would be able to strike a deal in the near future. Amazon is apparently seeking a better deal from labels than the agreements with competing services like Spotify and the relatively young Beats Music platform.

As the company continues to beef up its streaming video offering with original content, that addition of a music platform would help to position Amazon Prime as more than a way to secure cheap or free shipping, which is largely the purpose it serves for most users. Amazon presumably would like video and music to become an equal part of the equation, especially if they go through with plans to raise the yearly fee to as much as $120.

As of now, it is estimated Amazon spends $1 billion per year for video content that sees low engagement from Prime users. Many are simply oblivious to the content they already have access to, which could mean a similar lukewarm reception for a music streaming platform. But in an industry where nearly every major player hosts their own version of internet radio — whether it be Play Music All Access, iTunes Radio, or any other number of options — it would be more surprising if Amazon did not eventually roll out its own competitor.

[via Recode]

 

 

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  • Chad Vincent

    I would use Prime Video more if the interface was better on the XBox, and if it worked on non-Kindle Android at all.

  • CaffinatedOne

    It’d be nice if they didn’t bundle all of these services under the one “prime” umbrella. I don’t want to pay increasingly high prices for it when I mainly want the fast shipping. If Amazon actually wanted me be interested in their video streaming, perhaps they should allow their app to run on non-Amazon android devices (hint)?

    • Jeremy Sheehan

      They were planning on raising the prime rates anyway. If they bundle this in, I’m down. I do use the instant video, but not nearly as much as Netflix.

    • KingofPing

      The main reason they are raising their fees is actually because of shipping. There was a great article on Ars not too long ago about this if I recall.

      Much as I love the free shipping, getting the other extras (video and now possibly music) with it certainly doesn’t hurt, IMO.

      …just wish there was an Android client for Prime video…

      • CaffinatedOne

        Fair enough that shipping is a big cost, but the video (and soon to be music) services certainly aren’t free to Amazon, so it should be possible to have a lower pricepoint ‘prime’ without them. I get that they’re looking to leverage ‘prime’ to pull people more tightly into their ecosystem, but that’s not something that I’m interested in.

      • Dean Politis

        There is an Android app for Amazon Instant Video in the Google Play Store, but only for Google TV.

    • Guest

      CaffinatedOne, you do not need to have an Amazon device to stream. You only need the Amazon Prime app. I use my iPad for Prime video streaming, and it can also be used on a Wii or smart tv if you download the app to those devices. Not sure if there is an Android app though, but I don’t even use Netflix for streaming o my phone.

      • Jeremy Sheehan

        Not available for Android unless you’re on the Kindle or GoogleTV.

      • CaffinatedOne

        Understood that there are devices out there that support amazon prime video, but unfortunately stock Android isn’t one. Amazon’s not providing an app on the platform presumably to help push kindle tablet sales, which is irritating.

        • KingofPing

          Indeed.

          Recently found out though that there is an “app” on the Wii for Amazon Prime.

          :thumbs up:

          My chromecast died a week ago and I got stuck using the Wii. Updated and am now running Netflix, YouTube, and Prime through the until I can figure out what’s up with my TV. (Wasn’t really the chromecast, as it works in a friends Tele, so must be the HDMI on my TC which is crazy-making since my BluRay player works just fine on those ports.)

        • Scotsman of Loch Ness

          It’s really annoying that Android does not have a Private video app. I use Hulu quite a bit and recently started using Netflix again.

  • Carl Rood

    It’s funny. The streaming was a bigger reason of why I signed up for Prime. Amazon has so many distribution centers that a good percentage of the time, the Free Super Saver shipping on orders of $25 gets there within 2 days, anyway. However, the video + guaranteed shipping makes it worth it. My Sony Blu-Ray player has the Amazon app, so I usually watch movies that way.

    An app in the Google Play store would be appreciated, as would an Amazon Unbox app for Blu-Ray & DVDs that come with digital copies, but that’s not as big an issue since I use Handbrake + AnyDVD to rip the movies so I have a fully portable version.

  • Cael

    Android won’t get it. It’ll be for iOS and Kindle Fire >_>

    • Dean Politis

      Perhaps the lack of an Android app for phones/tablets might be one of the reasons Amazon Prime members don’t go to the video service.

      One of the things that bothers me is people saying their isn’t an Android app for Amazon Instant Video. There is one on the Google Play Store, but it is only available for Google TV. This really makes me believe that Amazon is intentionally blocking it to promote their Kindles.

      • mcl630

        There’s nothing to “believe”, they *are* blocking it to promote their Kindle Fire tablets. If they wanted to promote their video streaming more, they’d have an Android app for sure.

      • Paul M

        we had netflix until a few days ago but my kids were getting bored, so I let it lapse, thinking I would look at Amazon. I just discovered that there is no android app for phone or tablet. WFT? Although I didn’t often watch netflix on my phone, or my wife on her tablet, it never occurred to me Amazon wouldn’t have made it possible. Really, Amazon?

  • UmAlum1990

    “…if they go through with plans to raise the yearly fee to as high as $120.00.” I am not sure that many members would be willing to fork over another $40.00 per years for all these bundled services. I have been a Amazon Prime member for at least 7 years. I do not think I would continue with my membership, just for the ” perk” of streaming music and video.

  • steveb944

    If there is such a price hike I would need music streaming or else I wouldn’t bother. Yes the quick free shipping is convenient, and yes I appreciate the low cost of 1 day shipping but I sure as hell would not be spending $120 in a year for that, most things I buy are over $35 anyway. Buy a game for $30 and I’ll throw in a movie or ink to supplement for super saver ship.

    I sparingly use Prime Video on my Google TV, Wii U, and Wii. I wouldn’t really miss it much. I quit Prime for a bit until they offered me student pricing one last time. If anything I’ll use my younger siblings for Prime membership sans Video.

  • http://www.newportessentials.com/ paco cornholio

    Since Amazon curtailed their Prime video streaming (offering many free Prime movies in low-def only now, as if any Prime members have low-def televisions) I’d be hesitant to put time into any Prime streaming music option, even if it’s free.