Amazon To Launch Streaming Service?

amazon_logoAmazon.com is preparing to launch a standalone music streaming subscription service, placing it squarely in competition with rival offerings from Apple and Spotify, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. That’s the word from Reuters, which reports this new service will be offered at the industry standard price point of $9.99 per month, in line with its major rivals, and it will offer a competitive catalog of songs, the sources said. Amazon is finalizing licenses with labels for the service, which likely will be launched in late summer or early fall, the sources said.
This new Amazon effort will compete directly with Apple Music and Spotify, which boast more than 30 million songs. Apple launched its service last year in one of the highest profile signs that listeners wanted subscription services, rather than paying for individual songs or albums. The service also will diversify Amazon’s subscription offerings and be another step away from a single, annual subscription. Amazon recently began allowing subscribers to Prime to pay monthly, for instance.
EchoAlthough it will be a late entrant to the crowded streaming space, Amazon believes a comprehensive music service is important to its bid to be a one-stop shop for content and goods, the sources said. The new music offering also is intended to increase the appeal of the Amazon Echo (pictured), its home speaker, which searches the Internet and orders products from the retailer with voice commands. Amazon hopes its new service’s tight integration with the Echo will help it stand out and reinforce the speaker’s appeal, the sources said. Released broadly last year, the Echo has become a surprise hit that rival Google is now seeking to emulate with a speaker of its own.

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