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Amazon Prime has over 100 million subscribers, many taking advantage of music streaming

By | Published on Thursday 19 April 2018


How many streaming music subscribers is enough streaming music subscribers? That’s the big question. At what point does the saviour of the recorded music industry – subscription streaming – actually become a viable business in itself? 100 million? Well that’s how many people could be using just the most basic version of Amazon’s quietly growing music streaming set-up. Not that most of them are bothering, but it is how many subscribers the Amazon Prime subscription scheme now has.

Amazon is not generally a company that puts out big stat brags. Or at least precise stat brags, with actual real numbers. However, CEO Jeff Bezos has now announced that Amazon Prime has passed the 100 million subscriber mark. For a flat fee, Prime subscribers get faster and free delivery from the retailer, as well as various other perks. This includes free access to its limited catalogue Prime Music service and discounted access to its Music Unlimited full catalogue on-demand streaming platform.

Returning to more imprecise stats when talking about music specifically, in a letter to his shareholders, Bezo writes: “Amazon Music continues to grow fast and now has tens of millions of paid customers. Amazon Music Unlimited, our on-demand, ad-free offering, expanded to more than 30 new countries in 2017, and membership has more than doubled over the past six months”.

Although, he adds, it is “Prime Video [that] continues to drive Prime member adoption and retention”. Full access to Amazon’s video streaming service is free with Prime membership.

Bezos’s comments on Amazon Music don’t really offer much new insight beyond that already revealed by the company’s music man Steve Boom earlier this month. Although it does continue to suggest growing confidence at the web giant in its streaming music offering, which has been quietly gaining on market leaders Spotify and Apple Music for some time now.

Speaking to Billboard recently, Boom said that key contributors to that success were the growth of the firm’s Echo smart speakers and the fact that Amazon is targeting more mainstream music listeners than its rivals. “Our goal has been to expand the premium streaming market segment”, he said. “Not to run in a horse race with the other players each going after the same demographic”.

Because of that, he said, the company is attracting customers who are “either new to streaming in the first place, or new to premium streaming”, rather than just relying on smartphone-centric “early adopters” which, he reckoned, have been the main target for his rivals. “Not everybody wants to listen to music on a smartphone, it turns out”, he added.