Amazon spins oldies in modern streaming war

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The album is dead. So dead Amazon thinks customers won’t even care if all the songs in its new music-streaming service have been spun out of tune by DJs across the country for months.

To boost its digital offerings, Amazon is planning to launch its own music service, reports BuzzFeed, but rather than stocking up on the latest hit songs, Prime Music will shun new releases in favor of a potluck offering of songs and albums that are at least six months old.

Rather than securing deep music rights like Beats and Spotify, Amazon plans to distinguish itself by offering select songs licensed though labels’ catalogs. The limited selection could give the company a financial edge over its competitors, who are trying to offer all the world’s music for a monthly subscription fee.

Spotify currently boasts 10 million users worldwide, while Apple’s recently acquired Beats Music has garnered 250,000 subscribers in three months. However, Amazon Prime already has 20 million subscribers and could lure in even more by adding its music service to the annual $99 Amazon Prime subscription fee.

As the battle to become the world’s most dominant music-subscription service heats up, Apple claims it acquired Beats because it is the first player to get it right. Part of that equation is Beats’ excellent human curation element, which Tim Cook and Eddy Cue both raved about in interviews yesterday. Rather than relying on human curation, Amazon’s service could use sales data from its retail and music operations.

Agreements between Amazon, Sony Music and Warner Music have already been reached, as well as a number of indie labels, after negotiations started last year. Amazon plans to launch the service in June or July, which means Kindle users will finally be able to stream this year’s summer anthems sometime around Christmas.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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