Claims have emerged that Amazon intends to launch a stand-alone music streaming service, to run separately from their current Prime service.
The Guardian have reported that sources have said Amazon believe a “comprehensive music service is important to its bid to be a one-stop shop for content and goods”.
While Amazon Prime subscribers have access to a modest selection of music to stream, this new service will offer a “competitive catalogue” that will rival those of Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal, each of which have 30 million, 13 million and 3 million paying subscribers, respectively.
Earlier this year Amazon launched a stand-alone video streaming service called Amazon Video in the US for $8.99/m, that takes the video side of Amazon Prime independent. Were this new music streaming venture to materialise, it would undoubtedly run in the same way, reportedly for $9.99/m.
Internet entrepreneur and co-creator of Apple’s Music Group, David Pakman, said that a music streaming service from Amazon “might take a little oxygen out of Apple’s potential pool of paying users”.
Last March Jay Z launched the artist-owned music streaming service Tidal, which he bought from the Norway-based media technology corporation Aspiro. Alicia Keys, one of Tidal’s signees, said at the time: “Our goal is simple – we want to create a better service and experience for the user and the artist.”
But since then it’s not been plain sailing for the company. A month after launching Tidal dropped out of the top 700 apps downloaded from the iTunes Store and it has been criticised by numerous musicians – including Mumford & Sons and Ben Gibbard – for only favouring mainstream acts.
Then in February of this year it was announced that Samsung may buy out Tidal. Jay Z bought the company for £40.4m ($56m), but Tidal is reported to have had difficulty in paying royalty bills on time.
Despite the hiccups, the music streaming service has still managed to draw some big name exclusives in recent months, including Rihanna‘s ‘Anti’ and Kanye West‘s ‘The Life Of Pablo’.