Thursday, January 29, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Amazon launches music streaming for Prime members

By
From page B11 | June 13, 2014 |

LOS ANGELES — Amazon’s newly announced music streaming service is yet another attempt by the company to move beyond e-commerce and infuse itself into the daily lives of Americans with an increasing number of offerings —including grocery delivery and streaming TV.

The announcement comes just days ahead of the expected unveiling of the company’s first smartphone.

Starting Thursday, Amazon.com Inc. will offer more than a million tracks for ad-free streaming and download to Kindle Fire tablets as well as to computers and the Amazon Music app for Apple and Android devices. The service, called Prime Music, is likely to be integrated with an Amazon smartphone expected to be previewed on Wednesday.

People who pay $99 a year for an Amazon Prime membership can listen to tens of thousands of albums from artists including Beyonce, The Lumineers and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for no extra cost. By adding music, Amazon is hoping to hook new customers and retain existing ones on its Prime free-shipping plan, which also allows subscribers to watch streams of movies and TV shows and gives Kindle owners a library of books they can borrow once a month.

But the service has far fewer songs than services like Spotify or Rhapsody, and no deal with top-ranked Universal Music Group. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said the service is not likely to make a big impact on Prime membership. He said Prime members are likely to already use other streaming services so there is not much of a reason to switch to Amazon’s service.

“Very few people are going to use it, like Prime Instant Video, very few people even know that exists,” he said. “We are Prime members because we want free shipping.”

Steve Boom, Amazon’s vice president of digital music, said the service will pay for itself and isn’t part of the reason why the company raised the price of Prime from $79 in March — a move Amazon said would cover higher shipping costs. Instead, the company will benefit because Prime members tend to buy more from Amazon and remain loyal customers.

“If they come to Amazon for their music needs, they become better and longer-term Amazon customers, and we think that’s a good thing,” Boom said.

The deal comes on the heels of Apple Inc.’s announcement that it is purchasing headphone and music-streaming company Beats for $3 billion and is a further acknowledgement of the rise in popularity of streaming and the decline of digital downloads. U.S. sales of downloaded songs slipped 1 percent last year to $2.8 billion while streaming music revenue surged 39 percent to $1.4 billion, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Early results this year showed a further decline in music download sales, Boom said.

“Music consumption habits are changing, which is why we started this,” he said. “We saw the change happening.”

Seattle-based Amazon reached licensing deals with most of the top independent labels and major recording companies Sony and Warner Music, but failed to reach a deal with top-ranked Universal Music Group.

That means that while the service will feature artists like Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Bruce Springsteen, Pink and Madonna — it will lack music by Universal stars such as Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Jay-Z.

The service also won’t have many new releases — and for major artists that could mean music that has been released within the last six months.

Universal didn’t reach a deal with Amazon because it disagreed with the value of the lump sum royalty payment on offer for the albums in question, according to two people familiar with the matter.

One person said the royalty amounted to about $40 million to $50 million for the entire music industry over two years.

Labels other than Universal concluded the amount would be equal to or better than a per-play streaming royalty, given how often the songs were played on other digital services, the person said. Both people were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Amazon will recommend songs to customers who have bought music from it in the past with offers to complete albums if they’re available on the service. It has also hired experts to compile hundreds of playlists that are 20 to 50 songs in length based on genre or mood that are easy to download before getting on the subway or on a plane, Boom said.

Amazon’s strategy has long been to plow the money it generates back into its business, focusing on growth. The tactic results in thin margins, but investors largely give Amazon a pass for forgoing a strong profit for growth.

The company boosted its Prime 2-day shipping membership program annual fee from $79 to $99 in March to offset higher shipping costs. Since then, it has been adding services to Prime membership to attract new customers and encourage existing customers to spend more.

It started a service that lets Twitter users add Amazon.com products to their carts without leaving the social media site. In April, it launched Prime Pantry, a grocery delivery service for Prime members. The same month, it introduced Amazon Fire, its first set-top video streaming box.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    1st release for birds with mysterious goo a success

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

    4-H Annual Presentation Day returns in February

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Vacaville SWAT team serves search warrant

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

    Real estate occupancy continues to climb

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

     
     
    Council backs beer, wine sales for Vacaville store

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

    Vacaville police seek help to find sex offender

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 5 Comments | Gallery

     
    Sweep by sheriff’s team nets 4 arrests

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 6 Comments

     
     
    Travis starts work on Functional Fitness Center

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

     
    Boy Scouts to screen award-winning film

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

     
    Church makes ready for health, wellness fair

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

    Fairfield police log: Jan. 27, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

     
    Suisun City police log: Jan. 27, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

    .

    US / World

     
    Air Force probing alleged ‘treason’ remark by general

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

    Expect tiny tuxes but no real puppy love at doggy weddings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Large salmon release planned

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Violations mount for toxic recycler

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Quake rattles N. California coast

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Second arrest in student stabbing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    Marshals track down missing treasure hunter

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    ‘Drunk’ excuse falls flat in Vandy rape trial

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Attorney General nominee defends Obama immigration changes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

    Police seek law to alter Google app

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

     
    Investigation stems from police-involved shooting outbreak

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Hezbollah missiles kill soldiers

    By New York Times | From Page: A6

     
    ISIS extends hostage deadline

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Euro coast guards scramble to locate Syrian ghost ship

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Chinese regulators go after online sale of fake goods

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Tape: Scientist offers to build nuke bomb targeting New York

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Opinion

    India now has 322 billion reasons to fix economy

    By William Pesek | From Page: A7

     
    Don’t brush off bullying

    By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7, 3 Comments

    Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 29, 2015

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Just be honest and come forward

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

     
    A truly misinformed writer

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 37 Comments

    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: Jan. 29, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Today in History: Jan. 29, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Deadbeat boyfriend ruined my relationship with my granddaughter

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

     
    Horoscope Jan. 29, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

    .

    Entertainment

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Theater legend Joel Grey reveals that he is gay

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 2 Comments

    Super Bowl advertisers aim not to offend

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

    Kings center DeMarcus Cousins hoping to make All-Star team

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Rodriguez wrestlers pull out 34-24 win over Wood

    By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Solano men cruise past LMC for biggest win of season

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

    NFL players who started young show more thinking problems

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    GM John Schneider has been architect of Seahawks’ success

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Patriots not dwelling on last Super Bowl loss in Arizona

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Woods returns to Phoenix with plenty of memories

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Tony Stewart acquires national sprint car series tour

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Korda, Lewis, Munoz tied for lead at LPGA season opener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Head of NCAA enforcement: Academic misconduct on rise

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Chicago Cubs’ Ernie Banks statue moved downtown for tribute

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Kobe Bryant has surgery, expected to be out for 9 months

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    This date in sports history for Jan. 29, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9