After many, many months of speculation, Amazon is gearing up to launch its new music streaming service for Prime customers.
According to a report in The New York Times, the launch could come as early as this week.
Though the rumors of an Amazon music service go back almost to the beginning of this year, late last month we saw reports that the company had already inked out agreements with some major record labels and a few independents. Apparently, Sony and Warner are on board, but Amazon's service will most likely launch without any music from Universal – the largest label in the world.
From the look of things, this is not going to be a Spotify killer or anything. The streaming catalog will not include any new releases – basically anything newer than six months old. It appears that Amazon isn't going for an all-encompassing range of tracks, just a good selection to tack on to Prime's perks.
But that's very important, nonetheless. Amazon recently jacked up the price on a Prime membership – from $79 a year to $99. In order to entice people to pay that increased amount, Amazon needs to bolster Prime's offering. Free music sounds like a pretty good idea, especially when paired with Amazon Prime Instant Video – which is definitely getting better as of late.