Free two-day shipping, on-demand movies and TV shows, and now streaming music? According to a new report, Amazon is gearing up to offer older and relatively new tracks for free to its Prime members.
Buzzfeed reports that multiple sources have confirmed that Amazon will add a Prime music service, one which will launch in the next couple of months. Apparently, this won't be a Spotify killer or anything, as the sources indicate that the catalog of music streaming options will not include any new releases–anything newer than six months old. It sounds a lot like Amazon Prime Instant Video, in that Amazon isn't going for the full range of content–just enough to offer a solid selection.
Compared with Spotify, Rdio, and Beats, Amazon has been granted limited access to the labels’ archives, with one source saying that the company will pick and choose what albums to stream based on data from Amazon’s existing music and retail operations
Which labels? Reportedly Sony, Warner, and a few independents.
The rumors of an Amazon streaming music service began back in February, when reports emerged that said Amazon was in "serious talks" with big music labels. A WSJ report in March said that Amazon was planning on launching a free (ad-supported) streaming music and music video service that would allow non-Prime members to get in on the fun.
Amazon quickly squashed that, saying that they had "no plans to offer a free streaming-media service." They didn't, however, rule out a music streaming package for Amazon Prime customers.
Adding even a modest music library to Amazon Prime could greatly enhance the allure, especially when you consider the fact that Amazon Prime is now $99 a year instead of $79 following March's big price hike.
And though Amazon eats some of the cost for licensing any content they offer Prime member (it’s worth it, when you think about how much more a Prime subscriber is likely to buy from Amazon as opposed to a non-Prime shopper), there’s always the possibility that Amazon would pass on some of the cost of a streaming music service to the people.
But I doubt they'd do that now, after already hiking up the price once this year.