The rumor mill is once again pointing to Amazon rolling out a proper competitor to Spotify. Reuters is today claiming that the company is working on a subscription music service that will cost $9.99 per month — the industry standard — when it launches either late this summer or in early fall. Like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, and others, Amazon aims to offer an exhaustive song catalog — one far larger than the random mix that Prime Music is currently home to. We last heard rumors of Amazon building its own paid Spotify rival back in January. The Verge has reached out to Amazon for comment.
Prime Music is a perk of Amazon's annual membership program, but the new service will be completely standalone. The reasoning is simple; Amazon needs a comprehensive, all-inclusive music solution if it wants to become your one-stop shop for all digital media (plus all that other stuff you buy from Amazon.com). Such a move would also expand the utility of the company's Echo speaker, which can play music from Prime, but must lean on Spotify and other services for tracks that Amazon doesn't have the rights to. Pair the smart assistant speaker with a massive vault of music, and that turns into an even more compelling product to use throughout the home.
If this rumor holds true, Amazon's approach to music streaming will soon be two-pronged; Prime Music for casual listening, and the unannounced subscription product for consumers that want the freedom of choosing between tens of millions of songs. But what else will set this apart? Will the software be better than Prime Music? Will Amazon have an answer for Spotify's Discover Weekly? Can it lock down exclusives that matter? Don't expect any answers for at least a couple months.