Music streaming services are a dime a dozen. Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Google Play Music; take your pick. All this needs is a new player in the mix because come on, why not? Enter Amazon. The retail giant is now planning to give you a $5 music streaming service but there’s a catch. You can only listen to the music on its Echo device.
The report published by Recode mentions that the discounted price for the service could be as low as $4 but listening just on the Echo device is a problem. Gone are the days of the stereo. Almost all music is on the go. Sure you may settle in to a chair or your bed every once in a while when you have friends over and play the latest indie track on your home stereo, but that’s it. People listen to music on their way to work, while jogging, when working and in the shower. You can bring a smartphone to all those places; the Echo not so much.
It’s obviously a way for Amazon to widen the Echo’s appeal which is already pretty appealing. Echo is by extension of the Alexa virtual assistant, one of the four pillars of Amazon’s business (the other 3 being the marketplace, Amazon Prime and Amazon Web Services), selling a million units last year. Amazon hopes to sell 3 million this year and 10 million in 2017.
Amazon is also not completely done with the deal because they haven’t been able to sign enough labels. It’s not surprising since artists are continuously fighting to get paid more for their music in a world of illegal downloads and copyright infringements. Paid streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify have reached an apparent compromise but illegal downloads still take a $12 billion bite out of the music industry each year.
However this new service may bring a significant change to the table by taking downloads out of the picture. This would mean that a lower price is justified but you’ll constantly be using data for music meaning you have to pay more for Wifi and data.
Amazon already offers a music service via its Prime Membership program called Prime Music. It gives users access to over a million songs which is no where near the competition (please refer to the label signing difficulty above). Yet over 50 million people (Amazon Prime Members) have access to it.
Previously, the Amazon video service was also a part of the Prime program but it’s now a standalone service. The music service is following suit.
Amazon Offers Unlimited Cloud Storage To Britain
In other news, Amazon has launched its unlimited cloud storage for Brits for £55 a year. The service in the US is for $59.99 a year, around £10 cheaper than what they’re charging the Brits. Hey, these guys just went through Brexit, cut them some slack! Prime users already have unlimited storage for photos but only 5 GB for music and other media. This new service however, has no limitations and it’s available to anyone in Britain, with or without Prime.