Is Amazon itching to make its music service a solo act?
Amazon has discussed licensing tunes for a stand-alone subscription music service, the New York Post reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources. It characterized the plan as still being in an early stage.
E-commerce giant Amazon already operates a music service, Prime Music, as a facet of its $99-a-year membership program, best known for free two-day shipping. While stand-alone offerings like Spotify and Apple Music charge about $10 a month to unlock all-you-can-eat access to millions of songs, Prime Music’s lower monthly cost of about $8.25 is a trade-off. The service sometimes lacks full artist catalogs and tends to get hit music on a delay.
Amazon is likely to face challenges in creating a stand-alone offering that differs markedly from Spotify and Apple Music. The recording industry has pegged $10 a month as the lowest price that a subscription service may charge to have the most unlimited access to songs. Apple, the industry’s biggest seller of music downloads, tried to negotiate a lower price for Apple Music launched last year but instead launched with an extended three-month free trial giving first-time users a break on the same $10-a-month fee.
Amazon doesn’t disclose how many people subscribe to Prime, nor how many use Prime Music. In June, it said “several million Prime members” listen to the service every month. By comparison, Spotify also reported in June that 75 million people tune into songs on its service monthly and 20 million subscribe for full access.