When news hit early this year that Amazon was contemplating raising the cost of its Prime subscription service, many people were up outraged. Customers have paid a flat rate of $79 per year since the service debuted in 2005 despite the fact that Amazon has added some extras – like Prime Instant Video – over the years.
Perhaps then, adding even more services could help the company justify the first price increase in nine years?
The latest around the rumor mill is that Amazon is now engaging in serious talks with major record labels with regard to launching a streaming music service. How close they actual are to inking deals, however, is up in the air. At least one source with one label said the two are still far apart because Amazon wants a deep discount similar to those given to services like Beats, Rhapsody and Spotify.
Amazon has been working to bolster its music department for a couple of years now. As Re/code points out, they hired Sony music executive Michael Paull in October 2012 and also brought in Drew Denbo to take care of business development. Additionally, the e-commerce site hired former Rhapsody licensing expert Adam Parness last year.
If Amazon does manage to secure a deal, they’ll likely want to spend some time and money on marketing to clue members in on the service. Odds are, there are a lot of existing Prime subscribers that don’t even realize they have access to movies and television shows free of charge through the service.