Amazon Music Subs Surge (Sort Of)
Yesterday in an internal blog post Amazon announced that its Amazon Music platform had finished 2019 with 55M subscribers worldwide. While they didn’t break out US subs, Amazon noted 50% growth in key markets such as the US, UK, Germany and Japan. With newer emerging markets such as France, Italy, Spain and Mexico more than doubling YoY.
Amazon also announced its highest level subscription tier, Amazon Music Unlimited, also grew by 50% over the previous year. To the untrained eye it might seem like Amazon has 55M stand-alone Music Unlimited subs. However, the vast majority of Amazon Music subs are probably coming from Amazon Prime subscriptions, which bundles Music in as an add-on. (Note: I use the word probably here because Amazon doesn’t disclose its Music Unlimited subscriber total.) The bottom line – many listeners have an Amazon Music subscription, but most didn’t make a separate purchase to get it.
In a related announcement Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music, said “nearly all” of those 55M customers are paying for a subscription, and that only a small portion are listening on the free ad-supported tier it recently introduced in the US. This in an important footnote since many in the domestic streaming ecosystem have wondered how much of a bite Amazon would take out of the audio streaming ad sales market. With minimal addressable scale right now that answer is probably not much.