According to Digital Music News, Amazon is in the final phases of establishing its own music subscription service, à la Spotify. Part of a leaked licensing agreement would confirm this suspicion and give a little more insight into the dealings. These are the main points, according to DMN:

(a) Amazon will primarily use its streaming music service to boost Amazon Prime subscriptions and revenues.  ”It will be included as part of Amazon Prime as an additional benefit to customers at no additional cost and will be integrated into the current Amazon music experience,” Amazon is communicating to all prospective rights owners.

(b) That is part of a larger bundled media offering that includes streaming television and free books (and, of course, free two-day shipping).

(c) It is unclear how much streaming access Amazon will offer, though conditional downloads (however defined) will be part of the offering.  ”The Service will offer Amazon Prime customers on-demand streaming and limited download access to a select amount of curated music,” the letter to rights owners continues.

(d) Outside of major labels and the largest content owners, independent labels will not be able to negotiate their terms.  The contact is ‘take it or leave it,’ according to sources.

(e) It is unclear when this service will be launched (even to Amazon executives, most likely), though rights owners are being asked to sign the following by May 1st, 2014.

It would seem with the meteoric rise in the music industry (after its brief collapse due to digital distribution) that every company that values its shareholders is jumping on the bandwagon. However, a more saturated market is bound to drive up competition, and in the end, that’s good for consumers. How this will actually play out is another story. This might be another case of Facebook vs. Google+, wherein a new service from a trusted source is still unable to completely overtake an existing service that everyone is used to. On the other hand, it could be a case of Facebook vs. Myspace, wherein a new service improves upon the old one. Judging by the imminent signing of the contract, we’ll see soon enough.


H/T: GigaOm

Source: Digital Music News