Earlier this year, Amazon revealed that there’s a probability that it will raise its Amazon Prime subscription from the now $79 rate to $119 a year.
It’s a price hike that staggers into three-digit territory, but comprises free two-day shipping on participating items, a Netflix-like video streaming service and a growing library of e-books. Still, a price increase is typically the anti-tactic for the rate-competitive Amazon. So what if the new rate could also mean that Amazon is adding more services to Prime, like unlimited access to music?
According to reports, Amazon is in talks with music labels so it can offer a Spotify-like music service that will be incorporated in its Amazon Prime subscription this year. But before Prime subscribers get their hopes up, there’s still a chance that the music service will be a while, as Amazon is pushing to get a substantial discount on licensing pricing. According to a label source, Amazon is looking to get the same deal services such that Spotify, Rhapsody, and Beats have with record labels, but the labels aren’t too keen on giving the retail giant what it wants.
Reeling in the rights, staff
Despite the hiccup with record labels, Amazon has beefed up its team with executives to help them launch the music service. Re/code reports that Amazon hired Sony music executive Michael Paull in October 2012 to lead its digital music operations; Drew Denbo who was responsible for business development in Rhapsody and MOG; and Adam Parness, who handled licensing for Rhapsody.
It looks like Amazon is all set to launch a digital music service, the only thing blocking its way is the licensing agreement with music labels. The retail giant is undergoing the same process as Google did when establishing its music label deals, and Amazon also pulled similar strings when setting up Prime video. With Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft all angling to be the central platform in your life, Amazon will need to offer at least the same digitized, consumer cloud services as its rivals.