The Current State of Amazon Music

Whether it’s acoustics while working or the pop charts while exercising or driving, you may love something to enjoy in the background. Amazon Music will surprise you with its Amazon’s streaming service.

What is Amazon Music?

It’s a music streaming platform and online music store. Amazon initially launched Amazon Music in public beta on 25 September 2007, as ‘Amazon MP3’. The service includes Prime membership at no additional charges.

Here’s the best part:

It features 2 million+ songs for its prime members. It includes thousands of stations and top playlists— all ad-free! 

Also, subscribers can enjoy offline listening with an unlimited skip. The company announced the launch of Amazon Music HD on 17 September 2019. 

It’s a new tier of lossless quality music with over 50 million songs in High Definition. It also has millions of songs in Ultra High Definition with the highest-quality streaming audio available. 

Amazon Music’s prosperity is considerably great. Its vast market capital supports the streaming platform on a broader range. Its 55 million subscribers represent 40% of Spotify’s soaring relative scale. 

Amazon Music Unlimited generated a total of $50 Million in iOS Revenue. That poised for 572% year-over-year growth. Amazon, alongside Tidal and Qubuz, offers lossless music for audiophiles.

Current Business Model

Amazon offered over 2 million songs from over 180,000 artists and over 20,000 labels at launch. It included EMI Music and Universal Music Group to clients in the United States only. 

Warner Music declared that it would offer its catalog on Amazon MP3, and Sony BMG went with the same pattern. It initially sold all tracks in 256 kilobits-per-second factor bitrate MP3 groups without per-client watermarking or DRM. Only a few tracks are presently watermarked. 

Licensing agreements with recording organizations confine the nations wherein the music can be sold. In January 2008, Amazon declared plans to roll Amazon MP3 out internationally.

Amazon Music’s Services

The current catalog is 29.1 million songs. Amazon has taken the rare step of announcing subscriber metrics for Amazon Music (comprehensive of Prime Music and Music Unlimited). 

This data implies a subscriber growth of 16 million in 2018 – meaning it has a robust online presence. Amazon limits universal access by checking users’ credit cards issued in the nation.

With the launch of its new HD service, Amazon Music gives access to around 50 million songs at 16-bit, 44.1kHz. It also gives “millions” of songs at Ultra HD or 24-bit, 192kHz, for individuals who value the distinction. 

Amazon HD Music will offer all HD music in a lossless FLAC document arrangement and play up to 850kbps. It will also offer up to 3750kbps for UHD. 

Amazon Music likewise has this cool feature called “AutoRip”. Here, you can add CDs and even vinyl records automatically to your digital library.  

There’s one important thing to know in case you lose or want to update your phone to a newer version. Amazon limits the number of devices members can authorize in their account. However, it permits them to deactivate the same number as they need, as often as they want.

Source: Business insider

Subscription Base

Amazon first launched Amazon Music (previously Amazon MP3) in the United States. It later launched the first international version of Amazon MP3 in the United Kingdom on 3 December 2008. It was also launched in Germany on 1 April 2009, and in France on 10 June 2009. 

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Both Switzerland and Austria were able to access the German version of Amazon Music from 3 December 2009. Amazon also launched the Amazon MP3 store in Japan on 10 November 2010. They propelled the Spanish and Italian releases on 4 October 2012. 

Amazon, yet again, reported another release in Mexico on 7 November 2018. Amazon Music has developed about half year-over-year over the US, UK, Germany, and Japan. 

It has dramatically increased in newer countries, for example, France, Spain, Italy, and Mexico. According to estimates, it had 55 million subscribers globally, including free and paid members, till January 2020. 

This figure incorporates people who bought any of its streaming services and the free, ad-supported option for non-Prime customers. Here is the estimated number of its worldwide subscribers in 2019 and 2020 (in millions):

Source: Statista

Content

Amazon separates the Amazon Prime Music home screen into two major sections.

Amazon Music’s Superb Music Streaming Features

It has a primary content section that takes up most screen real estate and one column just to the left. The first section contains popular playlists and melodies, while the last section lets users perform several actions.

These activities include browsing by category, playing tracks bought from Amazon Music Store, and starting up tunes. You may also have imported music using the now-defunct upload feature in the desktop application. 

You can also look for content by searching for a band or a song name. Amazon Music Player accounts provide 250 tracks of free storage. When the music is saved, you can also download it to your Android, iOS, or desktop devices using its application.

Check this out:

Looking for “Led Zeppelin” tracks uncovers one of Amazon’s Prime Music’s more significant blemishes: holes in the catalog. The service offers enormous amounts of “Zeppelin” tribute band content. However, no music is performed by the actual band. 

You can stream music from well-known and not-so-popular artists, for example, Bruno Mars and The Dirtbombs, separately. Prime Music is a limited version of Amazon Music Unlimited.  

Amazon Music Unlimited also deals with its homegrown Echo and Dot wireless speakers, just like Spotify. Amazon has also attempted to promote its service’s functionality, integration, and intelligence with its voice-control assistant.

For instance, saying, “Alexa, try Amazon Music Unlimited”, will get you fully operational with the service. 

Competition

Amazon Music typically doesn’t get a similar buzz as Spotify or Apple Music. However, the service is still exploding, and it is getting up to speed with those competitors at an incredible rate.

Over the same period of its launch, it went from 49% of Apple’s subscriber base to 82%. At this rate, Amazon could compete with Apple iTunes for second place in 2020. 

Amazon also plans to compete with services like Tidal that promotes the highest quality streaming digital music choices. Amazon streams music directly from the original vinyl, preserving both the fidelity and smoke of the original 1970s songs.

Here’s the deal:

The higher the bitrate, the smoother the music should sound. Amazon’s standard music plans play songs out as 256kbps MP3 files encoded with a variable bitrate.

Apple Music plays music at the same rate too. This rate is significantly higher than Spotify’s standard 160kbps. You cannot precisely compare it to the Spotify Premium tier of 320kbps.

Amazon is as good as the competition with the choices for listening. Like other services, you can listen to Amazon Music offline on Android, iOS, or Amazon’s Fire tablets. 

It’s also on the web, and it works with Google’s Android Auto or Apple’s CarPlay. This way, you can listen to music when driving. 

Anyone can likewise listen to Sonos. It’s available on any Alexa-enabled device. Music lovers love the Echo Show because they get both the song lyrics along with the music itself. This is what makes Amazon Music outstanding among its rivals.

Pricing

Amazon offers two plans for its music service, that is, Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited. The latter is itself available in 4 levels. 

The significant differences here have to do with the number of devices you can use on the streaming catalog and the cost. 

Here’s how they break down:

Prime Music

This service is free. If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll also have Prime Music. It has two million songs, so eventually, listeners will hit a wall if they try to listen to something a little more obscure. Prime Music is accessible on all gadgets. 

Amazon Music Unlimited Ad-Supported Plan

It is a free form of Amazon Music Unlimited that is upheld by advertising and offers thousands of songs in playlists and stations.

Amazon Music Unlimited Individual Plan

This plan runs at $8 monthly (or $80 per year) for Prime members only. If you are not a Prime member, it’ll run for a monthly charge of $10. It opens up the library to over 50 million tunes!

Amazon Music Unlimited Single Device Plan

This plan runs on a monthly charge of $4 and connects to your Echo devices. 

It may seem like a good deal at first. However, you need to know that it works with a single Echo or Fire device. If you need to use multiple devices, you’ll need to upgrade to the Unlimited Individual plan.

Amazon Music Unlimited Student Plan

Amazon designs this plan purposely for undergraduates who use Amazon’s Prime Student service. 

The Prime Student service is accessible for $60 annually. You can add Amazon Music Unlimited to the service for just $1 per month.

Amazon Music HD

This new service from Amazon guarantees the highest quality digital audio for the most perceiving of listeners. 

The company offers a free 90-day preliminary, and then the plan goes for $15 per month (or for $13 per month for Prime members). There is also a family HD option for a $20 monthly charge.

Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan

Family plans are great in case you’re attempting to minimize your expenses. It can be used with multiple people who need to access the service.

It has a $15 monthly charge for everyone who uses the service. Prime members can get a discount on the off chance that they pay $150 yearly.

Source: Amazon

Conclusion: Short-Term and Long-Term Plans

Amazon Music has one significant factor in its favor; that is, versatility. There are multiple rungs that makeup the service.

The service gets to ride on Amazon’s Prime membership’s tremendous popularity, which has become essential for many individuals.

It has a long way to go if it is to compete with Spotify. Spotify recently has an outstanding record of 113 million paying customers. 

Apple recently had a subscriber count of over 60 million. So Amazon is quickly chipping away on that lead. Amazon doesn’t discuss numbers that much. 

Amazon Music vice president Steve Boom told the Financial Times that they felt like getting to this scale level.

The company is focusing on a stable, multi-platform audience-building strategy. They are now building audiences to sell advertising. That may feel like an unobtrusive subtlety, but it is a critical strategic difference. 

Spotify’s and Netflix’s content-first models, content procedure rules, and plans of action can flex to help the content and the ecosystems expected to support that content. Amazon is also pursuing the content-first method with its premium products. 

Although Amazon will remain to be a retailer first all-inclusive globally, streaming is proving to be an integral asset. It is helping them build up the company in global markets. 

That would have taken years and countless dollars to set up a fully functioning e-commerce market. Music Unlimited developed over 50% in 2019. 

Despite its new ad-supported and HD levels, Amazon is seeking a segmented strategy. This strategy will push it past its more seasoned Prime Music beachhead. 

Amazon Music is currently established in the streaming’s leading pack and looks set to overwhelm Apple Music in 2020. 

Also, in contrast to Apple and Spotify, Amazon’s more extensive business is anything but a top-level player in several nations. Amazon Music’s geographic impression is lopsided- making its worldwide figure considerably higher. 

Without a doubt, underneath this headline figure, Amazon is the number two player in a portion of the world’s most significant music markets. 

Bottom line: Amazon is now present in the big league.

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