Unnamed sources have informed the New York Post that Amazon has set out to create a full-blown streaming music subscription service to take on Apple Music and Spotify. Rumor has it that the plan is in an early stage, but that the company has been conversing with music publishers over the last several weeks to license songs for the service.
According to the report, the service will be offered in addition to the current music streaming Amazon offers to its Prime (Music) subscribers. This new offering will also offer a more “robust” library of music than what’s offered on Prime. Sources say that Steve Boom, Amazon’s vice president of digital music, is in charge of the music service plans.
So, how much will Amazon’s new standalone music service cost? Sources state that the company is considering a $10-per-month fee. However, Amazon may offer a discount of $3 to $4 per month if the streaming service is bundled with Echo, the company’s $180 voice-controlled speaker that boasts 360-degree omni-directional audio.
Amazon launched Prime Music back in June 2014, an ad-free service that’s part of Amazon Prime. The service is free to members, and includes more than one million songs and hundreds of Prime Playlists designed for various types of moods and occasions. Members can even download the music for offline playback on mobile devices. Some of the featured artists include Aerosmith, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Daft Punk, Fun, and many more.
By comparison, both Spotify and Apple Music offer more than 30 million songs, so Amazon would need to beef up its music arsenal substantially to compete in the music-streaming subscription arena. Even more, Spotify is rolling out a video component to both its free and subscription services starting this week, with content provided by the likes of ABC, Adult Swim, BBC, Comedy Central, NBCUniversal, TBS, and numerous others.
Will Amazon be able to compete in the music subscription arena? Will music artists take to the new plan? Steve Boom seems to think so, as he told Billboard back in October that Amazon is “the only place that touches all of the different formats.” He added that Amazon is the biggest retailer of physical music and the second largest retailer of digital music.
According to the report, the company’s plan is to roll out the standalone music streaming service this fall. Amazon has remained quiet regarding the report, but there’s a good possibility that the service will help make up revenue being lost due to an industry-wide decline in digital track download sales. Having a standalone music subscription service to pick up the slack makes sense.