Feeds

Amazon Prime Music opens – but where's the streaming music?

Small labels lose out... again

The next step in data security

Amazon has rolled out a new streaming music service in the US for its Prime club members, but there’s lots of music missing.

The Prime Music service replaces the MP3 Store and Cloud Player apps. However, it doesn’t include any tracks newer than six months old, and there’s reportedly nothing from Universal Music Group, the world’s largest label. Only around 1 million tracks are available at launch. VC-funded gadget comic The Verge reckons this is “a pretty decent offering”. More discerning music fans may disagree.

The New York Times reports that indies have been rogered again, since Amazon offered a $25m pool for the three major labels but only $5m for the indies, who take about 34 per cent of the overall market globally, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Some music publishers are smarting too. The paper also notes that Amazon was unable to reach a deal with several of them, but went ahead and launched anyway, using “compulsory” licences that are part of the US's federal copyright regime. This might mean that the service won’t be able to launch in territories where it will be obliged to reach an agreement with publishers.

Amazon was the first MP3 store to sell DRM-free MP3 downloads from major labels in 2007. (Previously, independent labels had supported DRM-free MP3s, through services such as Bleep and eMusic, but the majors hadn’t). Amazon launched a cloud music locker in 2011.

Last week, indie labels formally asked the European Commission to investigate Google’s threats to block music from YouTube if the labels refuse to sign new take-it-or-leave it contracts for Google’s forthcoming audio streaming service.

Amazon has become increasingly bold in the way it deals with suppliers. It’s effectively crippled major publisher Hachette – which owns Time Warner Book Group and Hyperion – by refusing to take pre-order from the company, or list forthcoming products. Punters can still buy the goods but will have to wait weeks or months to get them. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.