There are rumours today that Amazon are on the cusp of launching a digital music streaming service to rival Spotify, Pandora and any other not yet launched services from Apple and Google.
The Verge is suggesting that Amazon, which is in talks with music companies, would integrate the service into its cloud music storage and Cloud Player products.
The big question for the retailer though is how much will a streamed service eat into its MP3 sales? I guess it might take quite a chunk if buyers are offered the chance to stream music rather than buy it?
The other big question is whether the service will be free to use or be paid for by a subscription?
I guess Amazon will wait to see what its rivals – Apple and Google (via YouTube) – both of whom could have services later this year – are planning. If it charges for the service it might also end up as a freebie bundled with the Kindle Fire and maybe even its rumoured new smartphone.
It does beg the question – will streamed music play an important part in the way that you shop for a tablet in the future? It could mean that if you buy a device (iPad/Nexus/Kindle Fire) that you get the service on board as freebie. Or possibly that you if you subscribe to the service then you get the hardware at a reduced price or even for free.
If this business model does develop then it could put a lot of pressure on Spotify to partner with a manufacturer too. Maybe a deal with Samsung?