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Amazon Music Unlimited gaining subscribers faster than Spotify and Apple

Amazon Music Unlimited is gaining subscribers faster than Spotify
(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon's music-streaming service is reportedly gaining subscribers at a faster rate than the competition, which includes the likes of Apple Music, Google Play Music and Spotify.

The number of people subscribing to the e-commerce group's Music Unlimited service has grown by about 70 per cent in the past year, according to individuals well-briefed on its performance. And it's not resting on its laurels, currently offering four months for 0.99p (opens in new tab) ahead of Amazon Prime Day

As reported in the Financial Times (opens in new tab), Amazon had more than 32m subscribers in April across all its music services including Unlimited and Prime Music. Spotify is the world’s largest streaming service, with 100m subscribers, but it is reportedly 'only' growing by about 25 per cent a year, according to Mark Mulligan, an analyst at Midia Research. 

Mulligan said of Amazon's Music services, “People don’t pay as much attention to it (as to Apple and Spotify), but it’s been hugely effective... Amazon is the dark horse". 

Streaming has brought a new lease of life to the music industry. Amazon has a long history of selling CDs, but the company was late to the streaming sphere, launching Amazon Music in autumn 2016 – eight years after Spotify premiered.

Integration with Amazon's ecosystem is one reason for the firm's success in recent months. It sells Amazon Music for $10 a month, but that cost drops to $8 a month for Prime members and $4 a month if you'll only be listening on an Amazon Echo speaker. By contrast, Apple and Spotify’s music services cost a flat rate of $10 a month. It's a similar story in the UK.

Steve Boom, head of Amazon Music, said, “We’re not battling for the same customers as everyone else", and he has a point: about 14 per cent of subscribers to Amazon Music are aged 55 or older, compared to just 5 per cent of Spotify's customers. 

Mr Boom declined to comment on the high-resolution music streaming tier that Amazon has reportedly been developing for a few months now, but, much like all of the Prime Day deals, when we know, you'll know...  


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Becky Scarrott

Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.