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September 12, 2016

Amazon, Pandora to roll out new music streaming services

The services are expected to impact existing players like Spotify and Apple Music.

By CBR Staff Writer

Amazon.com and Pandora Media are reportedly looking to roll out new versions of their music streaming services in coming weeks, with tariffs as low as $5 per month.

The launches are expected to pressurise existing players like Spotify and Apple Music, the New York Times reported.

It will also be a major test for the music industry in terms of the value of streaming music, including the discounts offered to attract people “to pay anything when virtually every song is also available free.”

Among the two companies, Pandora could the first one to launch the expanded version of its $5 subscription platform as early as this week according to people who have direct knowledge of the plans cited by the publication.

The service may include new features such as skipping more unwanted songs and storing several hours’ worth of playlists online.

Pandora plans to launch a complete on-demand platform by Christmas to compete with Spotify and Apple Music.

The platform comes with a catalogue of tens of millions of songs and the company is expected to charge $10 a month on par with the current prices in the market.

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Last year, Pandora acquired music streaming service Rdio after it filed for bankruptcy. The acquisition was aimed at posing increased competition to Spotify.

A venture capitalist and former digital music executive David Pakman was quoted by the publication as saying: “Even with the presence of free, you can still get tens of millions to pay for streaming services — and possibly much more — in the event that you get the price much lower.”

On the other hand, Amazon is also expected to launch a music service with a full catalogue priced at $10 a month.

The company already runs a limited catalog of on-demand music to members of its Prime program.

Both the companies negotiated on new licensing terms with record companies and music publishers for months to offer the new services, according to the people who briefed on the plans to the publication.

MusicWatch, a market research firm, managing partner Russ Crupnick said: “I don’t know that you get the casual listener to automatically be a superfan just by lowering the price.”

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