Amazon is looking to increase its offering and will reportedly add music streaming to its Prime deal as early as next month.
According to Buzzfeed, Amazon wants to be a player in the music streaming industry and wants to do this by adding a new layer to its Prime service.
The company is going to expand its Prime membership offering by adding new and old music for subscribers, after it managed to sign a bunch of contracts with record labels. There’s a catch, however, that may make the music service entirely less attractive, namely the fact that it will only be allowed to catalog songs and albums that are at least six months old.
In a similar manner to Prime Instant Video, the music service won’t really look to provide absolutely all music tracks in history, but will rather focus on a smaller selection of songs and albums that have been licensed at a discount.
This means that Amazon’s music service won’t ever be able to compete with the likes of Spotify, Rdio or Beats Music unless it changes its contract. That wouldn’t come cheap, however, and since this is an extra benefit for Prime users, Amazon doesn’t seem to be extremely motivated to invest more.
Even so, there are about 20 million Prime members that pay a yearly fee for fast shipping, order priority and discounts on millions of items. Amazon already provides them with access to instant streaming movies and TV shows, as well as to Kindle titles and special prices.
The company has recently pushed the yearly Prime price to $99, up from $79, blaming the raising costs of transportation.
According to Buzzfeed, Amazon has signed agreements with two of the three major labels, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group, while the deal with Universal Music Group hasn’t been confirmed yet. Amazon has also sealed the deal with several independent record labels and it looks like negotiations have been going on since last year. Sources say that the e-commerce giant will get to choose what tracks to stream.
The deal is quite similar to the one that the company signed with HBO recently, where it made available older shows on the Prime Instant Video platform.
While the report indicates that the new service will become available sometime in June or July, it may still be a while before an official announcement is made.