Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • Russian aid convoy reaches Ukraine’s rebel-held Luhansk

    Read more

  • Gunmen kill scores in Iraqi Sunni mosque attack

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Amazon launches streaming 'Prime Music' service

AFP

AFP Photo

Amazon began offering a streaming music service Thursday, in a move aimed at keeping customers in its orbit amid the rise in services like Pandora and Spotify.

The US online giant announced "Prime Music" will be offered free and without advertising for customers of Amazon Prime -- a subscription service that includes free delivery, access to online movies and books and other advantages.

The Amazon music catalog of one million songs is far smaller than rival offerings from services such as Spotify, which has 20 million, but appears to aim at a niche of customers as a new benefit to the Amazon Prime service.

"With Prime Music, Prime members have unlimited, ad-free access to over a million songs at no additional cost to their membership," Amazon said in a statement.

"Prime Music includes tens of thousands of albums from top artists like Daft Punk, Pink, Bruno Mars, Blake Shelton, The Lumineers, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna. And we're just getting started -- more music is being added all the time."

Customers will also be able to download songs and playlists and listen when they are offline to avoid data charges.

The service, available for US customers as of Thursday, is unlikely to directly challenge rival music services but could bolster Amazon's customer base and notably its "Prime" subscription service, which recently raised its annual fee for US customers to $99 from $79.

- Driving customers -

"Amazon's future business will depend on how many times a day the company can get its customers to interact with Amazon," said Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey.

"If you're Pandora or even Apple, getting people to use you several times a day doesn't really drive revenue up, but in the case of Amazon, getting the customer to interact with you several times a day leads to more frequent purchases, and that's what Amazon has in mind with the music service."

Amazon, which has been adding digital content to its vast retail offerings, has been rumored for months to have been working on a music service but reports said talks had been bogged down over royalties and licensing fees.

Amazon includes songs from major music labels Sony and Warner Music but talks are still ongoing with the other major publisher, Universal Music Group, according to sources familiar with the service.

But there may be gaps for some music lovers: The online news site TechCrunch said nine of the top 10 songs on the Billboard 100 were not available for streaming on Amazon.

The move comes after Apple agreed to pay $3 billion for Beats Music to boost its streaming service and compete with the likes of Spotify and Pandora.

Owners of Amazon Kindle tablets can get Prime Music in an automatic, over-the-air update and it will also be available as an app for users of Apple and Android mobile devices.

The move comes with Amazon having scheduled a media event next week, widely expected to be the unveiling of a smartphone that integrates in the Kindle family of devices.

Amazon said some of the artists available on the music service include Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, Green Day, Whitney Houston and Willie Nelson.

Date created : 2014-06-12