Amazon is planning two music subscription services, according to rumors that began circulating last week. One is a US$10 a month offering that is similar to Spotify and Apple Music, and the other is a $4-$5 a month cut-rate service available only on Amazon’s Echo device.
Amazon reportedly wants to launch both in September, but it has yet to finalize deals with major music labels and publishers, or to settle on pricing for the Echo-only service, which will be ad-free and offer unlimited music on demand.
Eighty-seven percent of smartphone owners aged 18 to 29 who participated in a recent Pew survey said they had listened to an online radio or music service on their phone, while 41 percent of those aged 50 and above had done so.
“The upside to streaming services is you’re not tied to a device — your music is anywhere that you are,” noted Mike Goodman, a research director at Strategy Analytics.
“If the service works only on an Amazon Echo, the user’s now tied down to a single location, and while it may cost less, it will also be less functional,” he told the E-Commerce Times.
Amazon “wants to sell things retail, and Echo is its way to integrate retail into people’s daily activities,” he pointed out. “If I were Pandora, I wouldn’t worry about this, but, if I were Target, I would.”