Amazon Prime music streaming service may limit playback and require music purchase
Streaming music providers have a tough balancing act to master, allowing access to content without charging a lot, and pay royalties to the artists without it being too much, but also not so cheap that artists or their publishers pull playback rights altogether.
Amazon may be trying to find a sweet spot in the middle. The streaming service may limit the number of times a Prime subscriber could listen to a given track. After that, they would have to buy the track outright. What that listening threshold could end up being is not known.
This may allow Amazon to still pay fees to the rights-holders up to a point, then of course a fee upon purchase. It looks as though Amazon wants to change that model a bit too, and instead set up a fixed pool of money from which artists and publishers would be compensated, the majority of which ends up going to the major labels anyway.
That new model is where the listening limits come into play. As one might imagine, some of the record labels do not like the idea and initial fees proposed by Amazon have been rejected. Either way, Amazon Prime’s music streaming is going to be a component of whatever fee increases are put into effect later this year.