Amazon puts music service into the limelight, ready to take on Apple and Spotify
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Amazon puts music service into the limelight, ready to take on Apple and Spotify

Ecommerce titan Amazon has been offering users its music streaming service for a while now – but as of this week, it’s planning to ramp up the visibility of this service. That’s a big challenge to Spotify and Apple Music – its two most obvious competitors – and, given Amazon’s track record when it comes to disruption, they should be taking it seriously.

Amazon’s share price has already risen by 61% year to date

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SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Amazon is putting forward the first national TV campaign ever for its music streaming service. National TV spots don’t come cheap, and Amazon (despite its notoriously deep pockets) rarely spends in areas it doesn’t see the potential for significant returns. That’s a clear sign that the company sees music streaming as a high growth industry, and it’s also indicative of the in-roads Amazon is making into media.

With the staggering success of its Echo speakers, and the number of music requests personal assistant Alexa receives, Amazon already has an advantage. In fact, the company recently announced that the amount of music its customers listen to with Alexa’s help has doubled over the last 12 months!

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The head of Amazon Music, Steve Boom, sees voice controlled speakers as an important part of the battle to win over listeners. In a recent interview, he said: “We’re pouring fuel on the fire. We have established ourselves as the leader in music services where voice is all you need to control it. We’ve been talked about frequently as one of the future giants of music streaming. Those days are now behind us. You can refer to us in the present tense.”

Despite Boom’s confidence, it’s worth noting that the streaming music business is one of the few industries in which Amazon will be playing catch up. It spent billions to make itself competitive in areas like groceries and the online pharmacy business. But compared to Apple Music and Spotify, Amazon Music is a relatively small player. Can its “speaker-first” service give it the differentiation it needs to stand out?


Dominion holds both Amazon and Spotify in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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