In what appears to be a bid to further ensure that its customers are thoroughly invested into its ecosystem, Amazon is rumored to be building a new music streaming service slated for next year and a different music service dedicated for the Echo smart assistant in the next few weeks. The former is expected to challenge the dominance of similar on-demand music services such as Spotify and Apple Music.
The Echo-based music service will reportedly cost potential subscribers $5 per month while the on-demand music streaming service, which could work across different devices, will get a $10 price tag. Both will purportedly have access to Amazon's expansive music library.
According to The Verge, which first broke the story, Amazon is presently hammering rights agreements with record labels, which explains the few weeks delay. The company is said to be negotiating the two services together. At this point, it must be underscored that both of these services are separate from Prime Music, which means that the subscription is not deductible from the $99 Amazon Prime annual subscription fee.
The Verge's report has also been corroborated by a separate story released by AFTVnews. The report dug into the Amazon Music app for the Fire TV and found evidences that point to a new and premium streaming music service. It will purportedly be called Amazon Music Unlimited. This seems to be the on-demand music app that will cost a heftier $10. Interestingly, the clues were found in the codes behind the slogans that will sell the new music app to Prime subscribers.
AFTVnews also discovered that the upcoming music service is currently codenamed "Hawkfire" within Amazon. It could launch in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan, since these areas got region translations within the app. The codes did not reveal any pricing information or specific schedule of release.
Out of all these rumors, it makes sense for Amazon to launch a separate music app because it currently offers a very basic streaming music service. The rumors, for their part, have been swirling as early as June.
If an on-demand app and an Echo-only music service will indeed see the light of day, observers expect that they will enjoy a modicum of success at the very least. This can be attributed to the efficacy in the way Amazon has managed its video streaming service, which currently enjoys immense success. There could be some slight performance difference, especially since, unlike the company's video streaming offering, the upcoming music services will possibly not get lumped in the Amazon Prime bundle.