Competing services may come out to challenge Apple Music and Spotify.
Both Amazon and Pandora are speculated to release new music streaming services over the course of the coming weeks at rates that are similar to, if not lower than, what Apple Music and Spotify are charging their customers. Ben Sisario of the New York Times reveals that this information was sourced from both companies' executives.
According to Sisario's article dated Sept. 11, Sunday, the said executives chose to remain anonymous since negotiations are still ongoing. If the deals push through, however, both Amazon and Pandora are alleged to start introducing their new music streaming services in the weeks to come.
"Both companies are set to introduce new versions of their streaming services in coming weeks, charging as little as $5 a month, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the plans," writes Sisario.
According to Sisario's sources, Pandora can make the announcement to expand its premium internet radio subscription service as early as this week. Features such as storing several hours of playlists and skipping more songs are said to be introduced. Pandora currently offers a free ad-supported service on top of its $5-per-month ad-free premium platform.
It was also disclosed that Pandora will launch an on-demand music streaming service before the year ends, and it will be priced at $10 per month. This is in line with previous reports of Pandora's plans of adopting an on-demand platform. Such a price will put Pandora's offering in direct competition with industry incumbents. Bear in mind that both Apple and Spotify currently charge a $10 monthly fee for their premium unlimited streaming services.
Adding to the list of possible competitors is Amazon. Tech Times previously reported of Amazon's plan to launch its own stand-alone full-catalog music streaming subscription service for $10 a month. A more recent write-up reveals that Amazon may slash the specified monthly fee down to $5 for customers who are on the Echo, Amazon's smart speaker.
Note that Amazon currently has an unlimited on-demand music streaming service, but it is bundled with its Prime program. Amazon describes it as the only unlimited on-demand streaming service with free two-day shipping.
Both Amazon and Pandora are months into their negotiations with publishers and record labels for new licensing terms. The insiders claim that both companies are close to completing their deals.
Even with more options and lower rates, however, market experts are still doubtful that those who are satisfied with content they get from radio and free platforms like YouTube will be convinced to pay for music streaming.
Photo: Kevin Shine | Flickr