Buzzfeed is reporting that Amazon is planning on expanding their Prime offerings to include music as well as books, movies, and free shipping. This has been speculated before, and the terms (no music newer than 6 months) fits with the backlist strategy of the rest of Prime. It also shows who Amazon Prime is truly aimed at: digital dilettantes.
Before you wonder if you should feel insulted, don’t be. I would venture a guess that most of us are dilettantes when it comes to content. We stream a few shows, listen to a few albums, and tend to dip in and out of the services. Prime works because it doesn’t make you feel like you HAVE to watch a certain number of videos, or download a book a month, or even order products each month to get the benefit. It’s just always there waiting for you, in whatever combination you are using at a given time. It makes Prime a very sticky service, because chances are some facet of Prime may hold your interest, even if the rest isn’t.
Think about what Prime offers:
- Movies and television shows: the selection isn’t terrible, but you’d be hard pressed to cut the cord based on Amazon’s Prime offerings alone.
- Prime Lending Library: low selection, needs a Kindle, and you are limited to one per month-this isn’t enough for a voracious reader.
- Prime Shipping: chances are, even if you buy most items via Prime shipping, some things simply aren’t available every time.
- Prime Music: only titles 6 months or older (per the rumor).
None of these are replacements for a dedicated service or even a specialty store depending on what you’re buying. But if you don’t read enough to go through more than a book a month, or you don’t watch enough video to justify a standalone Netflix or Hulu subscription, or you don’t care terribly about most music except as a background noise, Amazon’s Prime services really do fill a niche.
Personally, I’ve never been able to justify paying for Spotify, Beats, Xbox Music, or even Pandora. If the New York area had more FM rock choices I doubt I would even use the ad-based version of Pandora very often. So I can’t wait to see what Amazon’s music service looks like. If it has a halfway decent alternative/punk selection, I’m sold.
Are you excited for an Amazon-based music service, or has this news elicited a big yawn from you?