Amazon now fastest-growing music service, outpacing Apple & Spotify

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited July 11
Driven by inexpensive Alexa products, Amazon is adding customers at a faster rate than either Spotify or Apple Music -- but still has a long way to go to catch up.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Eddy Cue unveiling Apple Music
Apple CEO Tim Cook and Eddy Cue unveiling Apple Music


According to sources familiar with the matter, Amazon has quietly outpaced subscriber additions versus its more well-known competitors. A report by the Financial Times claims that Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers have grown by about 70% in the last year.

While the rate of growth is higher than that of Apple or Spotify's offerings, it still lags behind in total subscribers. In April, Amazon had about 32 million subscribers to all of its music services including both Unlimited and the free Amazon Prime Music tier, that accompanies an Amazon Prime subscription.

On June 27, Apple's Eddy Cue was clear about Apple Music's subscriber base. The executive said that Apple Music had exceeded 60 million paid subscribers, five months after it had hit 50 million nearly four years after launch.

Spotify broke 100 million subscribers in April after seven years of availability.

It isn't clear if the Financial Times subscriber numbers include trial subscriptions to the premium services.

Amazon Music Unlimited costs $7.99 a month for Prime subscribers, and $9.99 a month for non-subscribers. Amazon Prime Music contains a smaller subset of the music available on Amazon Music Unlimited, is free to Amazon Prime subscribers, and is included in reported figures from Amazon and in the Financial Times report.

Apple Music costs $9.99, with a family plan for multiple users available for $14.99 a month -- the same as the family plan for Amazon Music Unlimited. Spotify has a free tier, and Spotify Premium sells for $9.99 a month.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,811member
    I am an amazon prime member but I have never used amazon music. Am I counted?
  • Reply 2 of 35
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,045member
    No surprise Amazon Music is growing fast, they’re using the printer/ink  model, except the ink is a subscription.  Amazon must be taking a bath on the hardware... they’ll probably be sued for antitrust violations.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 35
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,109member
    No surprise Amazon Music is growing fast, they’re using the printer/ink  model, except the ink is a subscription.  Amazon must be taking a bath on the hardware... they’ll probably be sued for antitrust violations.
    ... what hardware?
    tylersdadwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 35
    NotMuch-You?NotMuch-You? Posts: 12unconfirmed, member
    ... what hardware?
    "Driven by inexpensive Alexa products, Amazon is adding customers at a faster rate than either Spotify or Apple Music —but still has a long way to go to catch up."
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 35
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,929member
    entropys said:
    I am an amazon prime member but I have never used amazon music. Am I counted?
    No, not unless you subscribe to it. 

    From the article since you missed reading it:
    "Amazon Music Unlimited costs $7.99 a month for Prime subscribers"

    EDIT: I've not ever used it either, but also a Prime member. So I clicked my Prime account, clicked Amazon Music at the top, and was taken to a free trial that becomes $7.99/month after the intro period. Still not an Amazon Prime Music subscriber. ;)

    Common sense would say it couldn't be counting every Prime subscriber. At last count there were over 100 million of them.
    edited July 11
  • Reply 6 of 35
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,911member
    gatorguy said:
    entropys said:
    I am an amazon prime member but I have never used amazon music. Am I counted?
    No, not unless you subscribe to it. 

    From the article since you missed reading it:
    "Amazon Music Unlimited costs $7.99 a month for Prime subscribers"

    EDIT: I've not ever used it either, but also a Prime member. So I clicked my Prime account, clicked Amazon Music at the top, and was taken to a free trial that becomes $7.99/month after the intro period. Still not an Amazon Prime Music subscriber. ;)
    Right, but are they counting users of the free service for Prime members. Personally, I use it quite frequently.
  • Reply 7 of 35
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,929member
    mike1 said:
    gatorguy said:
    entropys said:
    I am an amazon prime member but I have never used amazon music. Am I counted?
    No, not unless you subscribe to it. 

    From the article since you missed reading it:
    "Amazon Music Unlimited costs $7.99 a month for Prime subscribers"

    EDIT: I've not ever used it either, but also a Prime member. So I clicked my Prime account, clicked Amazon Music at the top, and was taken to a free trial that becomes $7.99/month after the intro period. Still not an Amazon Prime Music subscriber. ;)
    Right, but are they counting users of the free service for Prime members. Personally, I use it quite frequently.
    Apparently then you have to pay for a subscription one way or another, either the truncated version included with the Prime subscription of $13/mo or $120/yr or $8 additional for the Apple Music equivalent? I would imagine it might lead to a lot of new Prime members coming into the fold and then prompted to buy other products using FREE (!) 2-day shipping after buying an Amazon Alexa speaker. Maybe smart marketing after all. I hadn't actually thought about it until now. 

    FWIW I don't think I'm in the subscriber count. Just counting everyone with Prime would make it far larger than Apple Music wouldn't it? 
    edited July 11 chemengin1
  • Reply 8 of 35
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,997member
    Never ceases to amaze me how many Amazon Prime subscribers there are.  People paying to use a retailer that I actively avoid.
    rotateleftbytecolinng
  • Reply 9 of 35
    M68000M68000 Posts: 87member
    crowley said:
    Never ceases to amaze me how many Amazon Prime subscribers there are.  People paying to use a retailer that I actively avoid.
    You are not the only one who actively avoids them.  Not even sure they would be called a “retailer”.  There are serious doubts that amazon is good for the economy long term.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 35
    bigtdsbigtds Posts: 110member
    crowley said:
    Never ceases to amaze me how many Amazon Prime subscribers there are.  People paying to use a retailer that I actively avoid.
    I shop at Amazon enough so it's worth it. There are some things that you just can't get locally. You also get access to their video service and limited music. Many items get delivered on the same day. If you avoid Amazon then it's not for you.
    AI_liasjbdragonfastasleepchemengin1
  • Reply 11 of 35
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,154member
    entropys said:
    I am an amazon prime member but I have never used amazon music. Am I counted?
    I used to use the free Amazon Prime Music since it was free, though limited. Now I have Apple Music which also worked n Amazon Echo devices just fine. It can be the default on echo devices and you can easily play whatever music you want on those as you can a Apple Homepod. I do have a second and third generation Dot's, but mainly to play around with. I play my music on the 2 Homepod's I have. Or am streaming in my Truck. I can just Siri request anything to my iPhone or Apple Watch and have it play there.
  • Reply 12 of 35
    I am an amazon prime member and started using their music service 3-4 years ago due to the revamp of itunes and constant icloud capacity notifications. By the time apple music came out it was too late for me as prime does what they do anyway and its just one of the many prime benefits. If Jobs was here, Bezos would be #2. But that didn't happen. I feel really sad for whats happened to apple in the last 10 years. 
  • Reply 13 of 35
    jbdragon said:
    entropys said:
    I am an amazon prime member but I have never used amazon music. Am I counted?
    I used to use the free Amazon Prime Music since it was free, though limited. Now I have Apple Music which also worked n Amazon Echo devices just fine. It can be the default on echo devices and you can easily play whatever music you want on those as you can a Apple Homepod. I do have a second and third generation Dot's, but mainly to play around with. I play my music on the 2 Homepod's I have. Or am streaming in my Truck. I can just Siri request anything to my iPhone or Apple Watch and have it play there.
    I have a sonos system and it works with amazon music seamlessly and is voice controlled with alexa. I’ve had the sonos system since before apple music and I would always get an error message when trying to play anything from my itunes library. This really pissed me off. So I used amazon music importer to transfer my entire itunes library to amazon and haven’t paid itunes a thing since. I’m sure apple music works great on sonos now but they missed the boat on me. 
    bigtds
  • Reply 14 of 35
    tylersdadtylersdad Posts: 203member
    I get Apple Music for free through Verizon Wireless, but I pay for Amazon Prime Music. Their app is far smarter and their station curation is far better. 

    For example, if I search for Earth, Wind & Fire in Apple Music, I can see a list of their most popular songs. However, the list contains many duplicates, because Apple Music is incapable of determining that That's the Way of the World from the Greatest Hits album is the same song as That's the Way of the World on the That's the Way of the World album. Amazon Prime Music is smart enough to know they are the same song, so you don't hear that same song a dozen times. Shuffle also seems to work far better. If shuffle a playlist in Apple Music, it only plays the same 10 songs over and over again, even if I have 100 songs in that playlist. 
    chemengin1
  • Reply 15 of 35
    tylersdadtylersdad Posts: 203member
    I am an amazon prime member and started using their music service 3-4 years ago due to the revamp of itunes and constant icloud capacity notifications. By the time apple music came out it was too late for me as prime does what they do anyway and its just one of the many prime benefits. If Jobs was here, Bezos would be #2. But that didn't happen. I feel really sad for whats happened to apple in the last 10 years. 
    I use both. I get Apple Music for free from Verizon and I pay for Amazon Prime Music...even though I get Apple Music for free. You would be very disappointed going from Amazon Prime Music to Apple Music. 
  • Reply 16 of 35
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,154member
    bigtds said:
    crowley said:
    Never ceases to amaze me how many Amazon Prime subscribers there are.  People paying to use a retailer that I actively avoid.
    I shop at Amazon enough so it's worth it. There are some things that you just can't get locally. You also get access to their video service and limited music. Many items get delivered on the same day. If you avoid Amazon then it's not for you.
    Ya, all the electronic stores like Radio Shack and other better ones are now GONE. There is really no place locally to pick up all kinds of little items, anyone but online and generally at Amazon. Amazon is cornering the market for so much.
    bigtdswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 35
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 160member
    Growth rates are somewhat meaningless when someone has fewer customers. It's easier to go from 5 to 10 million than it is to go from 20 to 25 million. I always like seeing outrageous growth percentages when the starting point is microscopic. In this case Amazon is quite impressive with a growth rate of 70% getting them to 32 million. The next 32 won't be that easy. It's good for everyone as it keeps prices in check.
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 35
    NotsofastNotsofast Posts: 409member
    This is why Spotify is in such trouble, and their only long term hope is to get acquired.  Despite people trying to defend their music streaming service as somehow superior, it is essentially a "commoditized" business where the primary differentiator for most people is price. Spotify would lose half its 200 Million subscribers who get it for free if they had to start paying, ditto with Amazon.  Apple Music has the most tracks and is in the most countries, but at the end of the day, 99% of what anyone wants is on every music service.

    Problem for Spotify is that Amazon, Apple, and Google can leverage their music services to add value to their other revenue streams, e.g., Amazon uses it to make their incrreasing Prime Membership fees more palatable.   Spotify has lost hundreds of millions but it can't raise prices in a "commoditized" industry to offset those costs. That's why it is desperately trying to get exclusive podcasts, a likely fail in an effort to build another revenue stream. It's also why Spotify hurts artists by paying them about half of what Apple does, and why Spotify is desperately trying to use governments to go after Apple to slow down competition until it can be sold.  I wonder what their attack will be against Amazon??


    lostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 35
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,709member
    It's easier to show high growth percentages when you have small numbers to begin  with.  How much does that translate to raw customers growth. . 
    edited July 11 watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 35
    rain22rain22 Posts: 40member
    Notsofast said:
    This is why Spotify is in such trouble, and their only long term hope is to get acquired.  Despite people trying to defend their music streaming service as somehow superior, it is essentially a "commoditized" business where the primary differentiator for most people is price. Spotify would lose half its 200 Million subscribers who get it for free if they had to start paying, ditto with Amazon.  Apple Music has the most tracks and is in the most countries, but at the end of the day, 99% of what anyone wants is on every music service.

    Problem for Spotify is that Amazon, Apple, and Google can leverage their music services to add value to their other revenue streams, e.g., Amazon uses it to make their incrreasing Prime Membership fees more palatable.   Spotify has lost hundreds of millions but it can't raise prices in a "commoditized" industry to offset those costs. That's why it is desperately trying to get exclusive podcasts, a likely fail in an effort to build another revenue stream. It's also why Spotify hurts artists by paying them about half of what Apple does, and why Spotify is desperately trying to use governments to go after Apple to slow down competition until it can be sold.  I wonder what their attack will be against Amazon??


    Buy a clue dude. 
    Spotify is just fine and making a profit now and growing fast. It’s also hands-down the best streaming service out there for sub-Hifi audio quality, best algorithms for curation of all of them, best interface, best 3rd party support, best in ease of use, most reliable, largest library... 
    It’s the most integrated service on Hifi components, has the largest industry acceptance, the largest advertising base, largest subscriber base and is king of the hill for a reason. 

    You are completely full of shit with a hate on for Spotify for some reason. 
    chemengin1
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