Rumor: Amazon in Talks to Add Free Streaming Audio to Amazon Prime
Here’s a puzzler for you. A rumor is going around today that Amazon is working on adding free internet radio for Amazon Prime members, According to re/code, Amazon has been in talks with the major record companies for a few months now:
People have been predicting that Amazon would offer a Spotify-like music subscription service, most likely bundled with its Prime delivery option, for some time. But industry sources say Amazon is now engaged in more serious talks with big music labels about making that happen.
Which doesn’t mean it will: One label source reports that Amazon isn’t close to getting a deal done, because its executives are asking for a substantial discount on the pricing the labels have given to other services, like Spotify, Rhapsody and Beats.
Still, label talks have been going on for the past few months, sources say.
Amazon already lets Prime members in the US, UK, and Germany stream movies and TV shows (in addition to the discounts on shipping) and I suppose it would make a lot of sense to add music to the catalog.
This even meets my standards for plausibility, but in spite of all the points in its favor I really don’t think it’s going to happen. Remember, it was only last month that Amazon announced that they were thinking about increasing the price of Amazon Prime. If the current plan isn’t profitable enough to suit Amazon then I really don’t think they’re going to increase their expenses.
On the other hand, it would also make sense to announce the higher price alongside the new feature. The free music would make the price increase more palatable, thus reducing the number of lost customers.
Amazon Prime is currently a $79 a year service (in the US, at least) that includes free 2 day shipping on a lot of items sold by Amazon, one free Kindle ebook loan each month, and access to a catalog of tv shows and movies.