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Amazon Music is growing faster than Spotify and Apple Music

In the age of the music streaming wars, Spotify and Apple Music reign supreme. The two behemoth music streaming companies are consistently neck-and-neck with quarterly earnings reports and paid user retention. Spotify is still on top with 100 million subscribers, with Apple Music sitting at 60 million currently but more paid subscribers than Spotify. However, an unlikely competitor is rising in the ranks — Amazon Music.

According to a recent report from The Rolling Stone, Amazon Music is currently growing three times as fast as Spotify. An additional report from The Financial Times clocks Amazon Music’s Unlimited service with an upward growth of around 70 percent in the last year. It’s a figure that stifles Spotify’s growth at almost 2-to-1, whereas Sptofy saw a much slower yearly increase at 25 percent. Amazon Music currently boasts 32 million subscribers, which is still only half of Apple Music’s subscriber base, but its a trend that shouldn’t be ignored.

Why is Amazon growing at a faster rate than its competitors? First off, Amazon Echo and Firestick have helped bolster the platform’s popularity. Synchronization with Amazon’s cost-effective hardware has turned more users onto using the platform out of convenience, rather than the complicated task of pairing those devices with external music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Second, Amazon Music offers more price flexibility. Amazon Prime members can utilize the service for only $8 a month, and that price drops to $4 a month for users who listen solely on the Echo speaker.

Finally, Amazon Music targets middle-of-the-road consumers, e.g. those who stream music casually. While Spotify caters to the hardcore music curators, or SoundCloud to the music creators, or Apple Music to the obvious demographic of young music fans, Amazon has been targeting older consumers. According to Midia Research, 14 percent of Amazon Music customers fall in the age range of 55 or older. Compare that to Spotify’s mere 5 percent of the same older audience.

The trending numbers have led Midia Research music analyst Mark Mulligan to dub Amazon Music the “dark horse” of streaming services. Mulligan continues, “people don’t pay as much attention to Amazon [as to Apple and Spotify], but it’s been hugely effective.” While music streaming is not one of Amazon’s top priorities in its vast global marketplace — something that Apple Inc. has also admitted to — the tech giant has still managed to bolster its subscriber numbers based on convenience, flexibility, and synchronization.

Amazon’s catalog of music isn’t very large either. Amazon Music only gives users access to a one million song database, which pales in comparison to Spotify and Apple Music’s 30 million song base and SoundCloud’s whopping 125 million song catalog. Still, Amazon Music has been able to see aggressive growth because of an extremely effective marketing and product strategy. It’s a nuance that has led Amazon executives to simply deem their streaming service a “mainstream music-streaming service for the mainstream music fan.”

There’s nothing groundbreaking about the platform other than the fact that Amazon has found a model that works.