The battle for the music streaming market is heating up with the entry of a leading online retailer. Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) on Wednesday launched an on-demand, aggressively-priced streaming service called ‘Amazon Music Unlimited‘ that promises access to a library of “tens of millions” of songs as well as curated playlists and personalized stations.
The news service, which features Alexa’s artificial intelligence smarts with Amazon’s Echo speakers, is offered to the general public for $9.99 a month but Amazon Prime members, who can access the service through any device, will pay a only $7.99. Amazon also offers the option of paying on a yearly basis, which you can do for a annual fee of $79. Furthermore, owners of Amazon’s Echo smart speakers will pay just $3.99 a month for Amazon’s new music service.
Amazon already offers ‘Amazon Prime Music’, a free service to its Prime members which launched two years ago, but that includes about two million songs.
At price points designed to attract its Prime members as well as loyal customers, Amazon Music Unlimited becomes a viable competitor against Apple Music, Spotify and any number of other streaming services.
It’s worth noting that while Amazon is taking on established streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify via its competitive pricing structure, its library it’s not. Additionally, the e-commerce giant currently has a catalog of tens of millions tracks, while its two biggest rivals can boast a guaranteed 30 million plus songs each. That said however, keep in mind that Amazon’s secret weapon is its popular Echo lineup of voice-assistant products including Tap and the Echo Dot which are a huge draw given they both use Alexa as their voice-command system, and because of Echo and Alexa, Amazon Music Unlimited is aiming to appeal to a broader and different swath of consumers than its competitors.
Meanwhile, in other Amazon news this morning, Cantor Fitzgerald’s Youssef Squali raised his price target on Amazon stock to $1,000 from $835 writing that Prime’s user base is growing and that Amazon’s share of retail searches online is increasing. The analyst, who keeps a ‘Buy’ rating on the name, sees e-commerce reaching a tipping point and thinks the company being the biggest beneficiary the stock as continuing going higher. According to Squali, ticker will continue to grind higher.
Amazon shares are up 23.54% year-to-date and are currently trading around $835. The stock took a breather yesterday, loosing about one percent, to close at $831.00.
Amazon stock has advanced 7.71% in the last 4 weeks and 11.90% in the past three months. Over the past 12 months the issue has gained more than 51%.