Amazon is preparing to launch an on-demand music streaming service for Prime subscribers, according to a fresh report from BuzzFeed. The move will put Amazon, which until now has focused on digital music sales over streaming, in direct competition with Spotify, Beats Music, and Google Play Music All Access. At least in theory. Upon closer inspection (and thanks to some unfortunate limitations), this doesn't sound like a true Spotify killer.
For instance, you won't be seeing new releases available from Amazon's upcoming offering. (Prime Instant Music, perhaps?) Citing five sources familiar with the company's service, BuzzFeed says it will only include music that's at least six months old. And its catalog won't match what you've come to expect from Spotify or Beats, either. Just like Prime Instant Video, music streaming will reportedly include a rotating, smaller pool of content that's available for free to Prime customers.
Perhaps neither of these details should come as a surprise since Prime customers won't be paying anything extra to use Amazon's new music service — aside from the $99 annual fee, obviously. But it's unclear how much of that subscription cost Amazon can afford to spend on broad music licensing. And even with those downsides, this would be a nice complement to the Cloud Player product that Amazon has now. BuzzFeed says Amazon is looking to unveil the new music service in either June or July. Previous reports have said the company is planning to announce its first-ever smartphone in the same timeframe.