Amazon.com Inc. is now in second place, closing in on music streaming leader Spotify and Apple as it has now tens of millions of paid subscribers that are growing at a fast rate.
Amazon Music Vice President Steve Boom says that growth is down to two main factors: the large — and expanding — number of people who subscribe to Amazon Prime, and the growth and popularity of smart- and voice-activated speakers, with Amazon’s Echo leading the way.
“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,” Boom says about the opportunities with smart speakers. “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.”
The executive’s comments about Amazon’s streaming music service come just as leading music streaming provider Spotify launched its IPO this week. But Spotify doesn’t have a voice-activated smart speaker line, which is where Boom thinks Amazon can drive more subscribers to its music service.
He said the smart speakers have given the Seattle, Washington e-commerce giant an untapped group of music streamers, which is where most of the new paid subscriptions are coming from.
The executive noted that it’s both older listeners who tend to be slower to embrace new technologies as well as country music listeners, a demographic that hasn’t been quick to move to streaming music.
Amazon Music claims country songs are streamed 2.5 times more frequently on its platform than on others. Boom said the goal is to expand the streaming market, not to go after the same demographics that other streaming services are targeting.
“The technology itself is so simple that we don’t just rely on those people who I would say are early tech adopters, which has been where a lot of growth in music streaming has been because it’s been wrapped up inside of a smartphone. Not everybody wants to listen to music on a smartphone, it turns out,” he said.
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