Amazon Music’s Force Feed Is Working
Amazon Music is now the fastest growing music streamer in the US, with 42% YoY growth in 2018 and another 18% of forecasted growth in 2019. According to eMarketer, Amazon Music now has 35M MAUs in the US, which is remarkable when you consider that Amazon neither sells ads on its music platform or even considers it a core business unit.
So why is Amazon Music doing so well despite a lack of business focus? It has to do with Amazon’s overall ecosystem play. First, Amazon’s 100M+ Prime members receive Amazon Music as part of the subscription bundle at no extra charge. This creates a pipeline of new listeners who might just stumble into Amazon Music.
In addition to the Prime packaging, Amazon Music also benefits from being the default music streaming service on Amazon’s Echo smartspeakers. If you ask Alexa to play whatever music you’re in the mood for, they’ll jam you with Amazon Music (which in my opinion is one of the least enjoyable listening experiences in streaming.) So you either have to call out the streaming service you want in your Alexa command, or set your desired streaming platform as the default in the Alexa app – which is like a scavenger hunt because they bury the music preference deep in the Settings menu tree.
So yes, Amazon Music is growing by leaps and bounds. But it’s not because listeners are intentionally choosing to listen to them.