Steve Boom, the head of Amazon’s digital music unit, said in a memo that the closure of Amp was part of the company’s strategy to prioritize investments for the future, Bloomberg reported Wednesday (Oct. 4).
Amazon did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment.
Boom said in his memo, per the Bloomberg report: “This decision was not made quickly or easily. It only became clear after months of careful consideration determining the investments Amazon wants to make for the future.”
Amp, launched in March 2022, capitalized on the surge in popularity of live-audio services during the pandemic, according to the report. However, after careful consideration of future investments, Amazon decided to shut down Amp and use the knowledge gained to enhance fan experiences on Amazon Music.
This move is in line with Amazon’s recent cutbacks, which include discontinuing projects like the Amazon Halo wellness devices, the autonomous delivery robot Amazon Scout and free grocery delivery, the report said.
The closure of Amp also reflects the current state of the audio industry, which has witnessed layoffs and cutbacks in podcast businesses, per the report. Spotify Technology SA, another company that ventured into live-audio services, has also shut down its efforts. Clubhouse, a pioneer of the live-audio format, has adjusted its business strategy to focus on conversations with friends.
When launching Amp in March 2022, Amazon said the social audio mobile app would let users create radio shows, be a DJ and play songs from Amazon Music.
“Amp makes it possible for you to grab the mic and run the airwaves,” John Ciancutti, a vice president at Amazon, said at the time. “We are creating a new version of radio that will have an infinite dial of shows.”
The company’s roadmap for the mobile app also included Alexa integration, social sharing, and search and discovery features meant to connect listeners with creators.
The reported shutdown of Amp comes at a time when Amazon has recently completed its largest job reduction in 29 years, focused on grocery and devices.