The big picture: Apple and Spotify’s stranglehold on the streaming music market isn’t as tight as perceived as a third competitor is right on their heels. Amazon has been able to make meaningful headway in the crowded streaming space thanks in part to its pricing structure.
Steve Boom, head of Amazon Music, told the Financial Times on Wednesday that the e-commerce giant’s music streaming service now has more than 55 million users. The figure encompasses six different price tiers, including an ad-supported free tier, although Amazon insists that “nearly all” of its users are paying subscribers.
For comparison, Apple said last summer that its Apple Music service had 60 million paying subscribers. As of last September, Spotify had 113 million paying subscribers and 248 million total listeners.
For $10 a month, you get access to roughly the same catalog of 50 million tracks that Apple and Spotify offer but if you’re a Prime subscriber, that rate drops to $8 per month. And if you listen exclusively on an Amazon Echo speaker, it goes down to just $4 a month.
Amazon is no stranger to selling music. The company was among the first to do so on the Internet with CDs in the 90s and even offered downloadable MP3s yet was surprisingly late to the streaming game. Amazon Music debuted in the latter half of 2016 whereas Apple Music landed in mid-2015 and Spotify made the jump over the pond in July 2011.