Amazon, Pandora prep new music streaming services

“How much are people willing to spend for streaming music?” Ben Sisario asks for The New York Times. “The pricing model of $10 a month, the standard rate charged by most on-demand streaming services, has been compared to the 99 cents that Apple charged for song downloads when it opened the iTunes music store in 2003 — a simple and comprehensible amount that established in consumers’ minds the value of music in the internet age. But many in the business have argued that $10 a month is too high for casual listeners. At $120 a year, it costs more than most people have historically paid for music.”

“Pandora is expected to make the first move by unveiling, perhaps as early as this week, an expanded version of its $5 subscription platform. That service, which is currently limited to removing ads on its internet radio streams, will soon begin offering customers new features like the ability to skip more unwanted songs and store several hours’ worth of playlists online, according to three people with direct knowledge of the company’s plans,” Sisario reports. “By Christmas, according to these people, Pandora wants to introduce a fully developed competitor to Spotify and Apple Music, with a catalog of tens of millions of songs that a listener can gain access to on demand. That version is expected to cost $10 a month, in line with the current market.”

“In coming weeks, Amazon is also expected to introduce a music service with a full catalog, charging $10 a month or about half that amount for customers who use the Echo, Amazon’s voice-activated speaker system, according to several people who have been briefed on the plans,” Sisario reports. “Amazon and Pandora have spent months negotiating new licensing terms with record companies and music publishers to allow their new streaming offerings, and they are close to completing those deals, according to the people briefed on the plans. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Meh, on the Pandora services (future Apple Music roadkill), but we’ve learned to not discount Amazon out-of-hand. Typing a lower priced service to the popular Echo is a smart move. We’ll wait to see the details.

The total audience that’s willing to subscribe monthly to all-you-can-eat music services is obviously finite, smaller than most music lovers would expect, as seen be Apple Music having just hitting 17 million members, despite being available in over 100 countries for over a year.

Apple offers discounted annual Apple Music subscription via $99 gift card – September 6, 2016
UK carrier EE offering Apple Music free for six months – August 26, 2016
Apple Music is so good that I’m totally trapped – August 25, 2016
Only on Apple Music: Exclusivity defines Apple’s music streaming service – August 22, 2016


  1. I still use Pandora, specifically because I find it’s the best way to learn new music within the realm of my music interests. I hope they live on. They’ve certainly been the #1 target of the RIAA bastards over the years, another reason to love Pandora.

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