A little over a week after Amazon launched its Prime Music service the company is ready to talk about how successful the new service is. Of course it's doing so in that slippery way that Amazon has of announcing these things: with vague but large-sounding numbers.
...in the week following the introduction of Prime Music, Prime members streamed tens of millions of songs—that’s millions of hours of music—and added tens of millions of songs and more than a million Prime Playlists to their music libraries, for free.
You can read that a lot of ways. It sounds like some big numbers so it must be good news, right? But you can look at these figures more skeptically, too. You have to add a song in order to play it, and if users (and we have no idea how many users we're talking about) have added tens of millions of songs and only streamed tens of millions of songs, you could infer that users are only listening to each song one time. I'm not sure if that's good news or not.
When I tested Prime Music the first playlist presented to me was "50 Great Epic Classic Rock Songs." I didn't think too much about that until I saw that the most listened to playlist on Prime Music was "50 Great Epic Classic Rock Songs."
Reading between the lines it sounds to me like plenty of Prime Members checked out the service in just the way I did. Loaded it up, added a playlist, listened for a bit then went back to our preferred service.
One of my favorite headlines about these numbers came from Peter Kafka at Re/Code: Amazon Says Some People Have Streamed Some Music from Its New Music Streaming Service. I guess no one can argue with that!
Kafka shares some other figures: In May, 77 million Pandora listeners streamed 1.73 billion hours of music. That makes Prime Music seem fairly puny.
And that's understandable: the service has just started and it still needs to grow both its library and its user base. I think the story here is that Amazon comes across as slightly desperate by issuing a press release with such vague numbers.
In other Amazon news, the company has updated the iOS version of its Amazon Instant Video app to support some free, ad-supported TV programming. Specifically you can watch the first episode of a selection of TV series. You don't have to be an Amazon Prime member to access this content. This is the same deal that's been available on the Kindle Fire, Fire TV and on Roku players. TechCrunch has more details.
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