As the under-the-radar popularity of Amazon’s Prime Music service has become clearer, so the music industry’s interest in how other parts of Amazon’s business interact with it has increased.
Pay close attention, then, to the company’s plans to offer cheap Android smartphones to its Prime members, subsidised by advertisements on the phones’ lock-screens. In the US, Prime members will be able to pay $50 for the BLU R1 HD smartphone or $150 for the Motorola Moto G, which will come with an array of Amazon apps preloaded, as well as the ads appearing on the devices’ lock-screens and in their notification bars. This represents a new stage in Amazon’s smartphone strategy, after the high-profile failure of its own Fire Phone. If the cut-price Android devices prove more popular, they’ll be a useful base for Amazon to promote new content on Prime Music, and get more people engaging with the service who perhaps haven’t tried it before.