As competitors increasingly combine entertainment with other services, Amazon.com Inc (Amazon stock) is sweetening its offering by making more ad-free music and podcasts available to Prime subscribers.
To entice more customers to use its audio services, Amazon Music announced that as part of the current $139 yearly Prime membership cost, its entire repertoire of music and podcasts would be made available to users without any advertising. Beginning on Tuesday, Prime subscribers will gain access to 100 million songs—the same whole catalog provided by commercial streaming music services—instead of the approximately 2 million songs they have previously had free.
In essence, the tech giant gives Amazon Prime subscribers all of Spotify’s free features, but without commercials. Users of free tiers can only listen by shuffling albums, playlists, and artists’ catalogs, whereas users of paid tiers can choose any specific song on demand. A few all-access playlists are also available to Prime members on Amazon for on-demand listening.
With their efforts to package streaming services and other amenities, membership-based shops like Costco Wholesale Corp. and Walmart Inc. are entering a new arena of competition in response to Amazon’s additional features for Prime users. Additionally, entertainment firms are incorporating more services in their flagship applications. One such company is Walt Disney Co., which intends to add theme park and merchandise promotions to its Disney+ app.
Amazon Music has long benefited from being included under the Prime membership program, which now also covers groceries, gaming, TV and movie streaming, and books in addition to online shopping. According to analysts and executives, Amazon, the third-largest music service by subscriptions after Spotify and Apple Music, has attracted a diverse and older listener base across the U.S.—many of whom are first-time streamers—in large part thanks to its Prime subscription service and voice-activated Echo speakers. Through the Amazon Music app, listeners may also access music and podcasts.
Amazon stock (NASDAQ: AMZN) dropped again on Tuesday, down 4.7% to $97.63. A separate online marketplace for streaming video services was introduced by YouTube.
The addition of new music and podcasts for Prime subscribers represents a fresh challenge to rival music streaming services like Apple Music from Apple Inc., which raised its monthly subscription fee by one dollar last week, and Spotify Technology SA, whose Chief Executive Daniel Ek recently stated that the company would probably increase prices in 2023.
Amazon Music Unlimited, a full-service on-demand subscription for $9.99 a month or $8.99 for members, has been made available through Prime’s music selection. It offers a single-device subscription, which costs $4.99 per month, and gives access to Amazon Music Unlimited to one Echo or Fire TV device in addition to the family and student plans that other services also offer.
According to media data tracker, Midia Research, Amazon’s music subscriber base is one of the fastest-growing through these different subscription options. According to Midia analyst Mark Mulligan, Amazon may overtake Apple Music as the No. 2 subscription-based music service in the coming year.
According to Vice President of Amazon Music Steve Boom, when Prime started delivering music in 2014, streaming wasn’t yet a common practice. The aim was to provide a gateway into the industry for those who weren’t ready to sign up for a $ 10-per-month service.
2019 saw the launch of a high-definition streaming tier, with prices starting at $14.99 per month for nonmembers and $12.99 per month for Prime members. However, the company did away with the tier in May 2021 and started offering HD, ultra-HD, and spatial audio to Amazon Music Unlimited users for no extra charge.
Depending on how many more people stream the music, Amazon may have to pay record companies extra because it makes the music available to Prime members without commercials.
With more than 200 million subscribers worldwide, Amazon Prime continues to be one of the most popular subscription programs. Most people who sign up for its services continue using them; according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Amazon retains 98% of Prime subscribers who have been subscribers for at least two years.
But lately, there have been hints of stagnation in that supremacy. Amazon’s main retail business slowed this year after years of rapid development, and its market share seems to have reached a plateau. Prime membership growth has also halted. The United States once-nearly 20% annual growth in Prime subscriptions will decrease to 2% by 2025, research company Insider Intelligence predicted earlier this year. Amazon has been under pressure to entice customers with new offerings as a result of this fact.
According to Mr. Mulligan, Amazon is placing more of an emphasis on its entertainment services, which should benefit the company as consumers reassess their spending in the face of escalating economic difficulties.
According to Mr. Boom, there hasn’t been much innovation in the podcasting user experience. In order to assist customers in discovering new episodes, Amazon is also developing a podcast preview function that will provide them with a quick, palatable sound clip from an episode.
Featured Image – Megapixl © Jetcityimage