Amazon in talks to add music streaming to Prime

With 16M member, the move would immediately allow Amazon to compete in the space

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
February 28, 2014
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Members of Amazon's popular Prime service already get access to a huge amount of media in the form of movies and television shows. Soon, though, they may have an additional perk: access to a ton of music as well.

The retail giant is currently in talks with music labels to offer a "Spotify-like music subscription service, according to a report out from ReCode on Thursday. The service could apparently be added as soon as sometime this year.

Of course, this is far from a done deal and there will be complications down the road. In fact, the company may jave already run into a snag: sources told ReCode that Amazon executives are asking for similar discounts on pricing that services like Spotify, Rhapsody and Beats already get.

Amazon has been gearing up for this for a while now it seems with a slew of hires, including Michael Paull, a Sony music executive, who was hired in 2012 to head up its Amazon's digital music operations. 

The company also hired Drew Denbo, a former executive at Rhapsody and MOG, to handle business development, as well as Adam Parness, who was in charge of licensing for Rhapsody.

It makes a lot of sense for Amazon to offer music streaming as part of Prime, as it allows the company to compete in a heavily saturated market.

In addition to the above-mentioned services, you also have Pandora, which is the big one. The company hit 200 million users in April, Pandora was able double its overall user base in two year, with 70.9 million of those users described as being "active." And you have All Access, the service from Google that was unveiled last May, and Apple's iTunes Radio which debuted last June. 

There are no shortage of music streaming services to choose from, but making it a part of Prime, rather than as a standalone service, allows Amazon to give it to a pre-installed base of at least 16 million members. That means that, right away, the company will be able to nearly be on the same level as Spotify, which has 24 million active users.

The addition of music, though, could come with a heavy price for Prime users: namely a $40 increase, which the company began talking about last month.

Right now, Amazon offers its Prime membership for $79 annually which gives members free two-day shipping on all items sold by Amazon, unlimited streaming access to its video library, as well as access to its Kindle library lending program.

VatorNews has reached out to Amazon to confirm this news, and we will update if we learn more.

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