WSJ: Amazon Prime to gain music streaming


— 9:19 AM on March 12, 2014

There's been talk of Amazon raising the price of its Prime service to as much as $119 a year—but that price hike may come with some new features. According to the Wall Street Journal, which quotes "people familiar with the matter," Amazon has been in talks with record companies about a new music streaming service for Prime subscribers.

The service would reportedly be similar to Apple's iTunes Radio, since it would encourage users to purchase the music they hear. In that sense, the streaming scheme would be a complement, not an alternative, to Amazon's existing MP3 service. The Journal says Amazon might even limit how many times users can listen to the same song.

I don't see many other details about the service itself in the Journal's story, but there's plenty of dirt on the negotiations allegedly taking place. It sounds like some companies in the record industry are eager for Amazon to get into the streaming business. Nevertheless, Amazon "remains far apart from some record companies on financial terms," the Journal says.

The Prime price hike is supposed to take effect next year, according to NetworkWorld, so Amazon probably has plenty of time to iron things out. If the Journal's information is solid, we may hear more during the coming months.

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