It's been a little over a week since Amazon launched Prime Music, the company's new music streaming service for Amazon Prime subscribers. At first glance, Prime Music didn't dazzle us with a vast catalog or anything else particularly shiny. It launched without any content from Universal Music Group, the largest record label in the world. Prime Music is also six months behind – in that it doesn't offer the most recent hits.
But still, it's free streaming music. Nobody is going to complain about that. But will people really use it?
According to Amazon – yes – quite a few Prime subscribers took advantage of the new streaming service over the past week. The company says that in the time since launch, users have "streamed tens of millions of songs—that’s millions of hours of music—and added tens of millions of songs and more than a million Prime Playlists to their music libraries"
“Prime members across the country have been rockin’ out this week, exceeding our expectations for how well this new benefit would be received,” said Steve Boom, VP of Digital Music for Amazon. “We’re humbled and thrilled to see just how enthusiastically customers have responded to this service. We’re looking forward to continuing to add new artists, albums and playlists so we can keep Prime members singing, dancing, driving, working out and rocking to their favorite music.”
Once again, free music is free music. And if it's there, people are going to take it.
But of course, the true goal of Prime Music is to help Amazon both acquire and maintain Prime subscribers after that $20 price hike. Amazon has to give people as many reasons as possible to pay $99 a year for a Prime subscription, and adding a bunch of free music is a good carrot to dangle (even if it's not the tastiest carrot out there). These are some impressive initial streaming figures, but whether or not Prime Music will succeed in boosting Prime subscriptions remains to be seen.