Amazon to dip its toes in susbscription-based music service

Everybody wants a slice of the music subscription pie, and Amazon is the newest entrant to the field. The world’s biggest online merchant is said to be

Everybody wants a slice of the music subscription pie, and Amazon is the newest entrant to join the fray. The world’s biggest online merchant is said to be in talks with music labels to launch a Spotify-like service based on subscriptions.

Sources have told The Verge that Amazon is the latest – behind Google and Apple – to express interest in the subscription-based model of accessing music, which is considered to be the next big thing in the music industry. While the model has not exactly taken off, services like Spotify and Pandora show exactly how much potential the idea of paying to stream music has.

According to sources, the kind of model Amazon has shown a keen interest in is very similar to Spotify’s “on-demand” service. Amazon’s idea of music subscription could take off very easily. It could be the next natural step for the company as it already has the infrastructure to back this move. Amazon has a cloud-based music storage system as well as a cloud player. The company only needs to put in a subscription-based access system in place, and the service is pretty much good to go.

Amazon to dip its toes in susbscription-based music service

The subscription wars are heating up! (Image Credit: Audio Advice)


It is to be seen how Amazon plans to add its own unique flavour to the service, considering it is going to be competing against bigwigs like Google and Apple. Earlier last week, yet another rumour about the ambitious subscription model for YouTube surfaced.

Google has its bases covered both ways. While Google Play lets you buy and stream music on your Android devices, YouTube allows users to listen to tracks for free. Both the services are looking at involving subscription fees through which users will be able to get access to additional features.

Google claims that it is contemplating subscriptions at the behest of content creators. "While we don't comment on rumor or speculation," Google's spokesperson said, "there are some content creators that think they would benefit from a subscription revenue stream in addition to ads, so we're looking at that."

In January this year, Amazon launched its own MP3 store for iPhone and iPod touch. The launch pretty much showed that all was not well between Amazon and Apple, yet another contender for the streaming music model. Amazon launched the newest version of its MP3 store designed especially for iPhone and iPod touch. The store has Amazon’s entire 22-Million song catalogue available for download.

Amazon launched this service not as a downloadable app, but as an HTML5 one that has to be accessed through Safari on your iOS devices. While this makes the process of purchasing music from Amazon a little less seamless as buying it from iTunes, users can access features like discounts, personalised recommendations, best-seller lists and more. 

The reason why Amazon seems to have opted for the HTML5 route is because Apple takes a cut of 30 percent of all in-profit apps. While you might see an app for MP3 download from Amazon, the company seems to be bent on circumventing Apple’s policies.

Amazon, along with Barnes & Noble, had even halted in-app purchases of e-books form the Kindle and Nook apps respectively in 2011 thanks to Apple’s 30 percent cut policy. The companies prompted users to purchase e-books via the Web, letting the content sync with the iOS apps.

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