Amazon is in discussions with music labels to add a music streaming service to its Amazon Prime subscription.
Rumours of an Amazon music service to rival the likes of Spotify have been running for some time. Last March, talks were said to be at a very early and informal stage, but the latest suggestion is that they’ve entered an advanced stage.
According to Recode’s sources, "Amazon is now engaged in more serious talks with big music labels about making that happen."
Of course, that doesn’t mean that an agreement is anywhere close to imminent. According to one label, Amazon is asking for a large discount on the pricing terms offered to rival services such as Spotify, Beats, and Rhapsody. As you might imagine, that’s causing a bit of a problem.
Amazon’s plan is to give this music streaming service away to customers as part of the Amazon Prime service, which already provides free next-day delivery options on Amazon products, 500,000 free ebooks, and just recently the Instant Video movie streaming service.
That last addition has pushed the price of Prime up by £30 here in the UK, and Amazon is planning to offer a similar price hike in its native US, where Instant Video has been available through Prime for some time.
The addition of music to that package could be just the sweetener Amazon needs for such a rate increase in arguably its most important market.
Over the past few years, Amazon has been hiring executives with experience in digital music, so it’s clearly gearing up to enter the market - and it could be ready to do so some time this year.