A little more than a week ago, Amazon launched a free version of its music-streaming service Amazon Music. But the company's quest to take down Spotify and Apple Music is far from over, if a new report is to be believed.
According to Music Business Worldwide, Amazon plans to release a high-end tier of its music service before the end of 2019. Per MBW, the company is in talks with "various large music rights-holders" about licensing, and at least one major record label is already on board.
Amazon's music division currently offers three tiers: Amazon Music Unlimited ($9.99/month without Prime and $7.99/month with Prime), Prime Music (free with the $119-a-year Prime service) and a free ad-supported service that's only available on Echo Speakers.
Anonymous sources told MBW that the new tier will cost $15/month. This would be more expensive than Amazon's previous music offerings. However, it would still be cheaper than Hi-Fi tiers offered by would-be competitors Tidal and Deezer, which both cost $19.99/month. Neither Amazon nor its prominent competitors Spotify and Apple Music have ever offered a high-fidelity audio tier.
It's clear what Amazon's strategy is here. With this service's release, the company will have a tier in every price range, competing with Spotify's free and premium tiers as well as other Hi-Fi services.
However, it's not clear that a wide net is the best way to gain subscribers. After all, Spotify — one of the biggest paid streaming services in the world — only offers two tiers, while Apple Music — top in the U.S. — only has one. Personally, the multiple tiers were what turned me away from Amazon Music in the first place: I couldn't figure out the difference at a quick glance, and didn't want to research which one was right for me when I knew Apple's singular offering had everything I wanted.
It will be interesting to see whether Amazon's bet pays out — if the rumor of a higher-end tier is accurate — and whether this is, in fact, a smarter way for streaming services to operate.