Amazon Music has been steadily gaining in popularity despite only being around since 2016, a full two years after Apple debuted its own music service. The streaming service has passed the 55 million subscriber mark, making it a serious threat to Apple’s service, according to a report by the Financial Times.
Amazon Music has been offering six price tiers, ranging from a free service to a premium, but Amazon said that “nearly all” of its users are paid subscribers.
“Amazon doesn’t talk numbers that much,” said Steve Boom, head of Amazon Music. “We felt like getting to this level of scale was something worth talking about.”
Last summer, Apple said its service had 60 million subscribers. The No. 1 service is Spotify, which has 113 million paying subscribers and about 248 million users.
Amazon is not new to music sales – the eCommerce company has been selling CDs since the ‘90s and has been offering downloads for years – but it was late to the streaming game. When it entered the market, there were already several other competing services, including Apple, Spotify and Tidal.
Amazon approached the music sector the same way it pursued its shipping and Prime offerings: with creative marketing.
“We’ve always been very focused on expanding the marketplace and offering customers lots of choice,” Boom said.
Amazon has also been competing with a lower price point, charging $8 per month for Prime members and $4 for people who listen on an Echo. Subscriptions in the service grew 50 percent in 2019, the company said.
Amazon’s music service is estimated to make up only a fraction of its total revenue. According to MIDiA Research, Amazon has about 13 percent of music share subscriptions, with Apple at 18 percent and Spotify at 35 percent.
Mark Mulligan, the managing director of MIDiA, said that even though subscription growth was slowing down, Amazon was an outlier that had “opened up new, older households to streaming.”