“With the introduction of the Apple iPod in 2001,” Danny Vena writes for The Motley Fool, “The ability to download songs directly onto a pocket-sized device capable of storing thousands of songs was revolutionary.”

“The next phase was the introduction of streaming music,” Vena writes. “The dominant positions of Spotify and Apple Music are well-known to music enthusiasts, having dispatched a number of would-be contenders, but you may be surprised to learn that Amazon.com, Inc. is the third largest music subscription service globally, and it’s quickly closing in on the leaders.”

Vena writes, “The global music streaming market is expected to generate $9.7 billion by 2022, presenting a growing opportunity for the service providers.”

MacDailyNews Take: Perspective injection: Last quarter, the 90-some-odd day period just before the new ones were set to arrive, Apple sold $28.846 billion in iPhones alone. Nutshell: Today, or even 5 years from now, the global music streaming market isn’t/won’t be really that big – to Apple, at least.

“The data also showed that as of June 2017, Spotify is the undisputed leader with 140 million active users, boasting 58 million paying customers among them. Apple Music comes in a distant second with 28.2 million. Amazon comes in third with 16 million, according to MIDiA. More recent information suggests that numbers have increased slightly, with Spotify reporting over 60 million subscribers and Apple claiming 30 million,” Vena writes. “Amazon recently announced that it’s expanding its Music Unlimited service to an additional 28 countries. This will no doubt provide a boost to the music streaming subscriptions.”

“Amazon’s ace-in-the-hole may be its Echo family of smart speakers,” Vena writes. “The company is obviously seeing a correlation between the device and music subscribers, as it revealed that ‘Amazon Echo will begin to ship to these [same] new countries, enabling customers who purchase devices the ability to experience Amazon Music Unlimited,’ according to the company.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Just as Prime (free shipping) was the gateway to Prime Video’s success, so it is for Amazon’s music sales and streaming services.