Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Don’t Go To Sleep On Amazon Music

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Since music is far from Amazon’s core business, it’s easy to dismiss Amazon Unlimited Music from the top tier of audio steamers.  But going to sleep on Amazon music would be a mistake, as proven by their latest subscription numbers.  According to a Financial Times analysis, Amazon Music Unlimited grew 70% annually over the past year to 32M worldwide subs.  During the same period Spotify’s total number of subscribers was up 24%, while Apple Music said in April that its subscriptions rose 50% annually and Pandora was up 23%.

Amazon Music’s growth is being driven by a spike in listening on its Echo connected devices.  By making their service the default when users say “Hey Echo play whatever artist . . . “ they’re capturing a mountain of organic usage.  Some of these listeners then upgrade to a full subscription, and even more have it bundled in as a feature of their Amazon Prime sub.  Either way, it’s the ultimate example of using the ecosystem strategy to grow a business unit.

Keep in mind for now Amazon Music is only playing on the subscription side of audio streaming.  They, as well as Apple, don’t run any ads on the service so this isn’t an addressable audience.  However, it’ll be interesting to see if their increased scale becomes the gateway into ad sales on the platform.

 

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