This is a step backwards.
Or to put it another way, Amazon is the new Microsoft, which releases half-baked products that it tries to improve on the fly. As opposed to Apple, which tries to get it right the first time. And what did Steve Jobs famously say, hardware is hard? The Kindle Fire is still a POS after many iterations. It's like Jeff Bezos has power, but no vision.
Give Daniel Ek credit. He launched Spotify through sheer will. And wouldn't come to America until all companies were on board. Unless you have everybody, you've got customer confusion. And that's the last thing we need right now, hell, even musicians can't figure out Spotify payments. It's quite clear, Spotify pays out 69%+ of its revenues to rights holders, almost exactly the same amount as Apple, and this fact is easily discoverable but no one seems to know it. Now we're gonna have a streaming music service without a great percentage of the music people want? How does that benefit anybody but Amazon? How do we get everybody to pay for music in the future? This is a rearguard move by a guy who's trying to dominate the world and will never realize he can't. Facebook faltered with its mobile phone. Everybody can't do everything. I can't play in the NBA and it turns out Microsoft couldn't win in mobile phones. So give Apple credit for playing only occasionally, where they think they can win. And at least Google's crazy efforts are not located in a walled garden akin to a cult.
Yup, that's what Amazon's trying to build, a cult. Where everybody does it the Bezos way.
I'll be clear, I love buying from Amazon. Because it's friction-free. There's never a problem, I get what I order and if I don't, return is simple. There's TRUST!
But now Bezos wants me to waste time, which nobody has any of, to click around and find the music I want to hear on his service, ultimately being disappointed in a fair share of my efforts? This is not a benefit, this is a DISTRACTION! And it's not gonna get anybody to sign up for Amazon Prime, and it's not going to move the ball of streaming music forward. First and foremost, this is a service Prime customers DON'T WANT!
Kind of like the free books. How do I wrap my head around that one again? If I'm a Prime member, some Kindle books are free. What is this Easter, and I have to dig in the snow for eggs?
As for its streaming movie/TV service, Hollywood is at fault here. For not realizing we're going to a Spotify model for visuals. With everything available in one place for one price. Hollywood almost DARES its customers to steal, believing they're impenetrable, a lovable behemoth, ain't that a laugh. Furthermore, they're gonna go to day and date, windows will be gone.
But Amazon is still doing windows with this music service. You've got to retrieve your calendar to figure out whether a new release is old enough to stream. Yup, that's what I want, to wait six months for today's evanescent music which isn't even worth listening to then.
We're fighting the few hold-outs who don't go day and date on Spotify, who cling to the iTunes/download model, and now Jeff Bezos comes in and confuses us again?
But don't worry, his service won't get much traction. Because it's confusing and people don't care and why do you need it if you've got YouTube?
Me-too is a disaster. Either invent here, or take a big step forward, both of which were Apple's strengths under Steve Jobs. The MP3 player might not have been invented at Apple, but the iPod was a great leap forward. And the iPhone and iPad were pure innovations. Whereas Amazon invented downloadable books, and dominates there, but is an also-ran in MP3 downloads, streaming movies and tablets. If Bezos thinks he's winning, he truly believes he can bring back Menudo, make Rebecca Black a superstar, do what everybody in the music business knows cannot be done…MAKE A STIFF A HIT!
People subscribe to Prime for the free delivery. Bezos keeps thinking if he adds stuff on, it'll make it more desirable. That's hogwash. That's breaking Apple rule number one, which is MAKE IT SIMPLE! If you're gonna add stuff, have it work seamlessly, intuitively and easily. Using Amazon's music service will be like going to a record store with half the inventory which is scrambled in a way that you've got to pick through every album to find what you want. And if you think that's progress, you grew up in a third world country where offerings were slim.
This is not about empowering the consumer, Amazon's mantra, this is about megalomania, making Amazon the provider of EVERYTHING!
Never gonna happen.
Furthermore, with so many Apple-haters out there, what makes Bezos believe the public will go along?
Spotify now gives everything away for free, with advertising, on the mobile. It's finally getting traction, more adoption, and then you get this greedy jerk in Seattle, who doesn't know Nirvana from the Nerves, dipping his toe in the water, creating confusion.
Yup, confusion! Why should I buy Spotify if I've got Amazon Prime?
Take that musicians. Get everybody to sign up where your music is NOT! You want to be on Spotify, at least people can hear your music. And if you think payments will continue to be low, you don't know the definition of scale.
So I applaud Lucian Grainge for refusing to play ball this with this pompous nerd.
And I say we've achieved half of our goal here. We've got all the music, in one place, for everybody to hear. This is phenomenal. YouTube and Spotify have done a great job. We've just got to convince people to PAY FOR IT!
P.S. Making music an add-on devalues it. Music is not the glass you get for filling up at the gas station, it's the petrol itself, the main driver, the expensive elixir, the one thing you cannot motor without!