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Streaming Music Service Launch being Prepared by Amazon: Reuters

Streaming Music Service Launch being Prepared by Amazon: Reuters
Placing the company squarely in competition with rival offerings from Apple Inc and Spotify, Inc is preparing to launch a standalone music streaming subscription service, reported Reuters citing two sources with knowledge of the matter.
The sources said that a competitive catalog of songs would be offered through the service that would be prices at $9.99 per month, in line with major rivals. The sources further told Reuters that labels for the service, which likely will be launched in late summer or early fall, are being finalized by Amazon along with the requisite licenses.
There were mo responses about the issue of a full-fledged music plan from Amazon. The company already offers a free streaming music service with a limited catalog to subscribers of its Prime shipping and video service.
Amazon believes a comprehensive music service is important to its bid to be a one-stop shop for content and goods, the sources said, although it will be a late entrant to the crowded streaming space.
The appeal of Amazon Echo, the home speaker manufactured by Apple, which searches the Internet and orders products from the retailer with voice commands, is sought to be enhanced by the new music offering.
“A music service will further increase the daily interactions between Amazon and its customer base,” said former music executive Jay Samit when told about the company's plan.
Apple Music and Spotify, which boast more than 30 million songs would be the direct competitors of the new Amazon effort. In one of the highest profile signs that listeners wanted subscription services, rather than paying for individual songs or albums, Apple launched its service last year.
While being another step away from a single, annual subscription, the service also will diversify Amazon's subscription offerings. For example, Amazon recently began allowing subscribers to Prime to pay monthly.
Aiming to weave themselves more tightly into their customers’ daily routines and drive device sales, Silicon Valley titans such as Apple and Alphabet Inc's Google have muscled into music streaming in recent years.
Amazon hopes that its new service’s tight integration with the Echo will help it stand out and reinforce the speaker’s appeal, the sources said.  
Google is now seeking to emulate the Echo with a speaker of its own. Echo was released broadly last year and has become a surprise hit.
The move suggests that Amazon, while selling additional subscriptions for consumers who want to go deeper, will increasingly offer basic media options through Prime. The company recently launched a standalone video service.

David Pakman, a partner at Venrock who headed early Apple music efforts, when informed of the move said that the new music service could a threat to other smaller players but it is unlikely to steal many customers from Spotify.
He said that a little “oxygen could be taken out of Apple’s potential pool of paying users” by Amazon service which he called "inevitable".

Christopher J. Mitchell

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