One Thing Amazon Music Has, Others Don’t

One of the biggest challenges users of electronic devices have to deal with is battery life… I returned from a conference this week where executives all around me had iPhones with large, bulky covers… Something I try to avoid using whenever possible. The challenge becomes getting in the gym early in the AM, then using your phone all day in conferences and then streaming music or news later in the day without losing power when you potentially need it most. This is the exact challenge I had yesterday – I had a flight delay and was in the airport all day due to tornado warnings apparently in DC.

Bottom line is, in the gym yesterday morning I opted to use Slacker’s ability to play downloaded music from the phone. One of the reasons I think Slacker is so awesome is it allows you to do this. Not only can you stream playlists which you select but also radio stations are available in this manner. Playing downloaded music is amazingly light on battery – even when using bluetooth headphones. Spotify also allows paid users to play downloaded playlists.

The big news today is Amazon has jumped into the ring with Amazon Prime members getting unlimited streaming and downloads of playlists at no additional cost via its Amazon Music app available on all major platforms.

In other words, you don’t have to pay anything additional to get a music download service which other companies are charging for.

The company’s music catalogue is smaller at over one-million tracks as opposed to over 20 million for industry leader Spotify – but the flipside here is the lack of additional cost for Prime subscribers.

Amazon is using every trick it can to get people to buy and keep its Prime service such as bundling it with devices – allowing movies to be watched, etc. The goal is to make ordering from the company second nature – allowing you to order when you think you need something and have the item arrive before you could conceivably get a chance to go to a store and buy it yourself.

The one thing I hope they do next is allow video downloads for Prime members – this would certainly be welcome and something that would make Amazon Prime even stickier.

Here is more from the AP:

Universal didn’t reach a deal with Amazon because it disagreed with the value of the lump sum royalty payment on offer for the albums in question, according to two people familiar with the matter.

One person said the royalty amounted to about $40 million to $50 million for the entire music industry over two years.

Labels other than Universal concluded the amount would be equal to or better than a per-play streaming royalty, given how often the songs were played on other digital services, the person said. Both people were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The deal comes on the heels of Apple Inc.’s announcement that it is purchasing headphone and music-streaming company Beats for $3 billion and is a further acknowledgement of the rise in popularity of streaming and the decline of digital downloads. U.S. sales of downloaded songs slipped 1 percent last year to $2.8 billion while streaming music revenue surged 39 percent to $1.4 billion, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

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