Music streaming is in; music downloads are out. Apple’s recent purchase of Beats Audio was just another confirmation of this fact. On Thursday, BuzzFeed reports that Amazon is working on its own music streaming service, which will become part of the $100 Amazon Prime subscription package.
Amazon will reportedly limit the availability of new music to tracks that are at least six months old and offer only a specific selection of albums licensed to the company at a discounted price. Amazon Prime’s video and TV show streaming selection is limited in the same way, especially when it comes to premium content from HBO. It seems like the company has worked out a similar deal with music labels.
Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group are already behind the project, as are several independent labels. The third major music label, Universal Music Group, hasn’t confirmed its support just yet, though. All of the music will be available to stream on demand from any device. Amazon already has another music streaming platform called Cloud Player in addition to all the other music available for download in the store. It’s unclear whether the new Prime service will be a compliment to these existing services or combine them all in one.
The company could not have picked a better time to enter the music streaming space. Just this week, Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet trends report showed that music streaming has increased dramatically since 2013, while music downloads are in decline for the first time ever. Although there are a plethora of music streaming platforms already available, Amazon’s service will be entirely unique because it will be bundled into the Prime package.
Including unlimited music streaming in the Amazon Prime subscription price is a very good thing for existing customers and might sway a few of those who were on the fence about Prime. It won’t, however, make Amazon a Spotify killer. Spotify, Beats, and Pandora promise to offer all the latest and greatest music immediately upon official release. The popularity of these music streaming services lies in their all-encompassing approach to music. It seems that Amazon Prime music will be an entirely different animal.