The once-dominant Amazon Music digital locker stands to see a significant overhaul in 2018. Starting Jan. 15, Amazon intends to cease subscription plans to its online music service.
This will take effect the following year, which means "music that is already uploaded can be played and downloaded until January 2019."
Amazon, however, has indicated that while free and paid subscriptions will be retired, the services will remain operational for existing members. Also, the company clarified that new memberships will still be accepted but only until the deadline that is set early next year.
"The Amazon Music Storage subscription plans (free and paid) are being retired. New subscriptions will be accepted until January 15, 2018. You can upgrade your Amazon Music storage plan, until that time," the online retailer announced on its official site.
Important Things To Know
To be clear, the retirement plan will mostly impact the free music subscriptions, as uploading, streaming, and downloading of music files on the channel will be totally discontinued by January 2019. For the paying members, Amazon said it will remain the same.
"While you remain a paid member, you retain the ability to upload music and renew your subscription," the company assured.
Amazon issued a clear reminder that it's best for paid members to set their subscriptions to auto-renew to avoid inconveniences. Failure to do so could lead to account expiration, after which there will be no option for a restart.
The company said all music files on its cloud storage will remain secure for another year starting January 2018. Then by 2019, all files exceeding the free 250 songs limit will be deleted, so users should retrieve them within the said period.
It's important to note, though, that music purchased from Amazon will be insulated from the planned changes, as the company made clear that these files, MP3s or AutoRip from CDs, will remain "securely stored for playback and download."
"This change will only impact music imported by customers from other sources, and does not impact music purchased from Amazon — MP3s or AutoRip — those will remain in the Cloud and will be available on mobile and desktop devices," a spokesperson for the company confirmed in a statement.
Amazon's planned adjustments appear to be the company's knee-jerk reaction to the rising dominance of online music streaming services. In recent years, Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify have successfully redefined the listening habits of music lovers and continue to gain considerable traction against conventional models, which is where Amazon's music service is classified.
It remains to be seen if the online retailer will be able to stave off the feared demise of its music business or if the company is ready to join the bandwagon, so to speak.