Amazon Music Unlimited is the fastest growing music streaming service, ahead of both Spotify and Apple Music, according to a new report by Midia Research published in the Financial Times. Amazon Music Unlimited has been booming recently, with a massive 70% growth in the last year. That brings its total subscribers up to 32 million.
That’s still small-time compared to Spotify’s dominant 100 million paid subscribers, or Apple Music’s 60 million paid subscribers. But Amazon Music is catching up, as the explosive growth this year shows. Spotify is still growing too, but at a much slower rate of 25% per year.
According to the report, Amazon Music’s secret weapon is Alexa integration, which is driving adoption. “Amazon has gained momentum in recent months, propelled by its ubiquity with consumers and Alexa, its popular intelligent assistant, which can play music through voice commands issued to its wireless Echo speaker,” the report says. “‘[Amazon] has gone all in on [music],’ said a senior music executive at one of the major record labels. ‘We see high engagement on their service.'”
The other advantage that Amazon Music has is its different target audience. While most streaming and music services target the younger demographic, as they have been most receptive to new ways of listening to music, there is a growing audience among middle aged and older people. Now that so many people have an Alexa device in their home, they want a way to access music easily.
The report backs this up: “About 14% of subscribers to Amazon Music are aged 55 or older, compared with just 5% of Spotify’s customers,” it said. Steve Boom, the vice president of the Amazon Music Unlimited service, confirmed this to the Financial Times. “We’re not battling for the same customers as everyone else,” he said. “For the industry to reach its full potential, we can’t just look at 15- to 22-year-olds.”
Amazon Music has also been promoting itself with special events like a concert by Taylor Swift for Prime Day which Prime members can watch live. And earlier this year, Amazon launched a free version of its Music Unlimited service to bring in even more new customers.