The last public estimate of Amazon’s music subscribers was 16 million in October 2018: a stat that covered both its basic-tier Prime Music service and its full Amazon Music Unlimited. How is it growing?
Music boss Steve Boom has been talking to Billboard, claiming that Amazon now has “tens of millions” of paid music subscribers, and that it has doubled the number of Music Unlimited subscribers in the last six months.
Note: this doesn’t mean there are now 32 million of them, since the 16 million figure covered both tiers of Amazon’s music-streaming offering.
In the interview, Boom talked up the impact of Amazon’s Echo smart speakers. “There’s been a lot written about streaming and about smart speakers, but [articles] still talk about it as if this is some future state,” he said.
“We know better than that: it’s actually happening right now. We wouldn’t have grown to this scale if it hadn’t been happening already… Not everybody wants to listen to music on a smartphone, it turns out.”
(It’s interesting that this is very clearly a message that Amazon wants to put out. Its UK music boss Paul Firth made exactly the same point at the recent smart-speakers event we co-hosted with the BPI and ERA: “We talk a lot about voice control being the future. We have to get used to it being in the present… this is something people are doing right now,” said Firth then.)
Boom also stressed that Amazon isn’t cannibalising the likes of Spotify and Apple Music. “We have a lot of evidence that the customers that we’re bringing into our ecosystem are either new to streaming in the first place, or new to premium streaming.”
Read Music Ally’s recent report on smart speakers (PDF) co-published with the BPI and ERA