×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amazon to Launch Paid Streaming Music Service This Summer (Report)

Amazon is looking to launch a standalone streaming music service this summer to more directly compete with Spotify and Apple Music, according to a Reuters report. The service will cost $9.99 a month, and offer on-demand access to full albums from a catalog similar to that offered by its competitors.

Amazon didn’t respond to a request for comment by Variety.

The e-commerce giant is currently running Prime Music, a streaming service that is offered free of charge to Amazon Prime subscribers. Prime Music offers access to some albums, but much of its catalog consists of older releases, and the overall size of its catalog is much smaller than that of its rivals.

It’s still unclear when exactly Amazon’s standalone service is going to launch, as the company apparently still has to finalize its deals with record labels. However, Amazon is reportedly targeting late summer or fall for a launch.

One of the main reasons for Amazon to invest in such a service is likely the surprise success of its Echo loudspeaker. Amazon hasn’t released any sales numbers for the Echo yet, but analysts estimate that the company may have sold as many as three million units of the device.  The Echo currently taps into Amazon’s Prime Music service, and also connects to Spotify for a more premium music playback experience.

Launching a paid music service would not only allow Amazon to keep some of those subscription dollars paid by Echo users, but also better defend itself against future Echo competitors: Google, which is running a paid music service of its own, announced a smart loudspeaker dubbed Google Home last month.

Amazon is entering the paid digital music space at a time of both growing excitement for subscription services as well as consolidation. Apple Music has proven to be a hit for Apple, which was able to gather more than 13 million paying subscribers since its launch a little less than a year ago. Spotify has also seen continued growth, and now has over 30 million paying subscribers worldwide.

But growth itself doesn’t always translate into healthy financials. Case in point: Streaming music pioneer Rhapsody, which just recently had been boasting about accelerated growth, confirmed layoffs Friday, with a spokesperson telling Variety: “As part of our plan to better position Rhapsody/Napster for long-term profitability and accelerated growth in a competitive global market, we have a new, streamlined structure for the company that unfortunately impacts a number of positions across our global offices.”

Hypebot reported earlier Friday that Rhapsody was closing its San Francisco office. The company declined to comment on the report, but a source told Variety that the company’s Bay Area office was indeed closing down, with staffers “being given some transition time.”

More Music

  • Little Shop of Horrors review

    Off Broadway Review: 'Little Shop of Horrors'

    With its strains of kitschy doo-wop and its sci-fi B-movie inspirations, the quaint 1982 musical “Little Shop of Horrors” hardly seems a thing of modern-day revivalism, even despite its touches of S&M. Yet this year alone, not only is there an Off Broadway production of the blackly comic “Little Shop” featuring Jonathan Groff of Netflix’s [...]

  • BBC's Little Mix Talent Show to

    BBC's Little Mix Talent Show to Be Produced by Management Firm's New Shingle, ModestTV

    The BBC has confirmed its Little Mix talent show, which the pop band’s management firm, Modest!, will produce through a new banner, ModestTV. “Little Mix The Search” will be exec produced by Andrea Hamilton, who has partnered with the management outfit to launch the new operation. Her entertainment show credits include “The Voice” and “Strictly [...]

  • NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 15:

    Midland Turns L.A.'s Dormant Palomino Club Into a Honky-Tonk Brigadoon

    Would it be too much to ask Midland to give up its burgeoning-country-star status and move west to become the humble house band at a newly reopened Palomino club in L.A.? It doesn’t seem a lot to beseech for a good cause, however unlucrative it might be for the group’s fortunes and fame. The famed [...]

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 16:

    Idina Menzel, Bebe Rexha Take the Stage for Justin Tranter's 'Beyond' Benefit Concert

    We’re here, we’re queer and we’re writing your favorite songs was the theme of Beyond, the third annual benefit concert that Justin Tranter and his CAA agent, Jenna Adler, organized to benefit GLAAD at the Sunset Room in Hollywood on Wednesday night (Oct. 16). Beyond a music showcase, its mission is to highlight the annual [...]

  • Taylor SwiftMTV Video Music Awards, Arrivals,

    Vivendi's Third Quarter Results Up Nearly 17%, UMG Still Rising

    Vivendi saw its third quarter revenues increase by 16.7% to €3.97 billion ($4.4 billion) compared with the third quarter of 2018, once again boosted by the growth of Universal Music Group, while Canal Plus Group remained stable. For the first nine months of 2019, Vivendi’s revenues reached €11.3 billion ($12.5 billion), an increase of 14.6% [...]

  • Parliament-Funkadelic and George ClintonIEBA Annual Conference,

    George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Sheila E. to Perform in ‘Grammy Salute’ Airing Friday

    Parliament-Funkadelic stars George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, along with Sheila E. and many others, perform in the “Grammy Salute to Music Legends” airing as part of PBS’ “Great Performances” series Friday night. The show, the fourth annual all-star concert offering a primetime spotlight for the Academy’s 2019 Special Merit Awards recipients, premieres nationwide Friday, Oct. [...]

  • Lola Marsh

    Ping Pong Sets the Beat in Hypnotic, Green Screen-Ambitious Lola Marsh Video (Watch)

    Forrest Gump has nothing on Lola Marsh. The Tel Aviv-based twosome of vocalist Yael Shoshana Cohen and multi-instrumentalist Gil Landau transform into ping pong rivals in the video for “Only for a Moment.” The indie-pop jam combines Cohen’s Lana Del Rey-esque vocals over an upbeat blend of snaps, claps, shakers, and a driving melody courtesy [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content