Amazon.com and Pandora Media are planning to launch new versions of their streaming music services in coming weeks, the New York Times reported.
The music streaming business has become a rather aggressive one, especially after Apple joined in. But pricing for monthly subscription hasn’t substantially changed among the very few major players in that market. The monthly fee of $9.99 is more or less standard everywhere. Amazon and Pandora, however, are planning to undercut competitors like Spotify and Apple Music by charging as little as $5 a month for subscriptions.
Pandora had recently initiated talks with music labels in a bid to offer full streaming catalogs. The company made its name with internet radio, but it's aiming to build on that platform, adding another two subscription tiers that would see its free radio service joined by an ad-free version for $5 a month that lets users skip a certain number of tracks, and a $10-a-month option closer to existing competitors. According to the NYT, Pandora hopes to offer this full subscription service by Christmas this year.
On the other hand, Amazon is reportedly planning to launch its own fully featured music streaming service for $10, but - according to several people briefed on the matter - will only charge half that for owners of its Echo speaker. The subscription would feature a wider catalog of music than offered under Amazon's existing Prime subscriptions, but it's not clear whether Prime subscribers would get access to the new music service as standard, but it seems likely that they would need to pay the $5 or $10 a month in addition to their Prime subscription.
The realities of negotiating licensing deals with record labels have ensured that most competitors in the music streaming business could not offer less than $10-a-month subscription price. By offering discounts alongside standard music streaming services, Amazon and Pandora may be able to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
Source: The New York Times