Amazon could be preparing to challenge Spotify, Apple Music, and other subscription music services with a full-fledged rival that's much bigger than Prime Music. The New York Post reports that Amazon executives have kicked off licensing talks with the music industry for a Spotify-like offering that would tentatively cost $9.99 per month.
Prime Music, a perk that comes included with Amazon's annual membership, offers on-demand and ad-free access to over 1 million songs. But the overall music catalog isn't anywhere near as large as those offered by Spotify and other paid services. It's pretty scattershot, often missing the newest releases that consumers can stream elsewhere. Prime Music is a nice "there when you need it" kind of thing, but it's not any real threat to Spotify. It seems Amazon is ready to change that with a standalone service that's completely separate from Prime.
The Post makes clear that Amazon's plan is still "in the early stage." That said, Amazon is kicking around a very interesting idea. The company is reportedly thinking of bundling its Echo smart speaker and the rumored music service together. Buy the speaker, and you'll pay a lower monthly subscription fee between $3 and $4. Whether this plan will prove viable likely depends on the deals that Amazon can work out with the music industry — or how much money Amazon is willing to lose to prop up Echo and its new music offering. The company will air a high-profile Super Bowl ad starring Alec Baldwin that highlights Echo's features. We've reached out to Amazon for comment on the music rumor and will update the story accordingly.
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