Amazon said to be adding a music-streaming service

Amazon Prime subscribers could get more than video streaming and free shipping, word has it the e-commerce giant is looking to launch a music service much like Apple's iTunes Radio.

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Amazon's online MP3 store could soon host a music streaming service. Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

Amazon is said to be looking to create its own version of Apple's popular iTunes Radio. According to The Wall Street Journal, the e-commerce giant has reportedly been in talks with major record labels to create its own music-streaming service.

The service would reportedly be available to Amazon Prime customers -- who pay $79 per year for free two-day shipping and Amazon's video-streaming service. The music service is said to be like iTunes Radio that plays music based on user preferences, rather than a subscription service like Spotify that gives users unlimited music access.

Amazon would limit how many times a user could listen to a song or album, according to the Journal. If a user liked a song or album after those few listens, Amazon would reportedly prompt the user to buy the music.

Amazon is said to have been in talks with Universal, Sony, and Warner Music for access to their music, according to the Journal. Reportedly, the e-commerce company has offered the labels a total of $30 million but it's unclear if the labels have agreed to that amount.

It was rumored a year ago that Amazon had begun holding informal talks with music industry executives about launching a streaming service. But, details on the talks have been under wraps ever since.

Subscription and streaming music services, like Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, Google's All Access, and iTunes Radio, have skyrocketed over the past couple of years. While Pandora is way ahead of the pack with 31 percent of the US streaming music service market share, according to a recent survey by Edison Research, 6-month-old iTunes Radio has already snagged third place with 8 percent of the market.

Compared to independent streaming music services, it appears Apple and Amazon could have a competitive edge because they already have built-in audiences from their online MP3 stores.

CNET contacted Amazon for comment. We'll update the story when we get more information.

 

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