Amazon Music Streaming

Amazon Music Streaming. IMG: via Amazon.

It’s surprising that this didn’t happen sooner.

Internet retail giant Amazon is joining Spotify, Pandora and, technically speaking, Apple in the music streaming business. They pretty much sell everything else, so why not music?

As to be expected, Amazon’s music stream will be part of its Prime service for $99 a year. They are hoping that adding music to movie and TV streaming, along with free two-day shipping, will entice even more potential customers to become Prime members. Since members reportedly spend almost double what nonmembers do, it makes sense for Amazon to offer as many perks to their most loyal customers as they can. And unlike their video streaming, which charges per TV episode and movie, the music will be free. Sources told The New York Times and The New York Post that this could be launched as early as this week.

The same sources say Amazon has reached major deals with two of the biggest music labels around: Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. They do not have the rights to Universal Music Group’s catalog. Don’t expect brand new music, either – Amazon will only have access to songs at least six months old.

That said, it’s a good business decision for Amazon. Music streaming is overpowering downloads, as iTunes is suffering from the growing popularity of the aforementioned streaming sites. That’s why Apple was so keen to buy Beats for more than $3 billion – they know music streaming is the way of the future (and present, actually).

It’s also been rumored that Amazon will soon be releasing its own smartphone – one that may allow Prime users to stream movies, TV and music without using up their data. For those who have to watch their data usage because their phone is their main source of music, a Prime membership (and an Amazon phone) sounds even more enticing.

The New York Times reports that the music service will stream across multiple devises, both on and offline, and will let users listen to songs as often as they’d like.