Amazon will begin offering a library of streaming music sometime in June or July, but the selection will be limited and only include songs older than six months.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (Getty Images)
The information comes via a well-sourced report in BuzzFeed, and confirms leaks in April that Amazon is finally ready to launch a long-rumored music service to compete with an increasingly crowded field that includes Google, Apple, Spotify and others.
The report says Amazon’s offering will be packaged as yet another add-on that is intended to make its annual $99 Prime membership more attractive. In other words, Prime members will soon get to enjoy an online jukebox in addition to 2-day shipping, and Amazon’s limited but growing selection of e-books and movies.
The BuzzFeed report cited five unnamed music industry sources who confirmed that Amazon has reached licensing deals with two of the three major labels, Sony and Warner Music, as well as several independent labels. The sources also stated that the music companies would only be offering a limited selection of their archives.
Amazon now joins the ranks of competitors to dedicated music-only subscription services like Spotify. Its add-on Prime model also appears to confirm my colleague Janko Roettgers’ assessment that digital music is “the thing you get when you buy something else.”