Online retail giant Amazon is reportedly speaking to major music labels about launching its own streaming music service, according to a Re/code report that cites unnamed industry sources with knowledge of the talks. Amazon currently offers its Prime membership, which costs $79 annually. In return, Prime members get “free” two-day shipping on all items sold by Amazon and its affiliated partners, access to its Kindle library lending program, and unlimited streaming access to a huge collection of movies and TV shows through its Prime Instant Video service.
Amazon gives away movies and TV shows to people who join its Amazon Prime subscription service. When will it start giving away music, too? Maybe this year. People have been predicting that Amazon would offer a Spotify-like music subscription service, most likely bundled with its Prime delivery option, for some time. But industry sources say Amazon is now engaged in more serious talks with big music labels about making that happen. Which doesn’t mean it will: One label source reports that Amazon isn’t close to getting a deal done, because its executives are asking for a substantial discount on the pricing the labels have given to other services, like Spotify, Rhapsody and Beats. Still, label talks have been going on for the past few months, sources say.