Several months ago, sources pointed Digital Music News to Amazon’s plans to launch a streaming music service. Now, those same sources are handing us the contact they’re being asked to sign. These are specifically smaller publishers and rights owners, who are being handed ‘take it or leave it’ terms without the ability to negotiate.
Major labels are being offered far larger sums in a separate negotiation process, according to separate sources. This contract confirms some earlier details and rumors, like:
(a) Amazon will primarily use its streaming music service to boost Amazon Prime subscriptions and revenues. “It will be included as part of Amazon Prime as an additional benefit to customers at no additional cost and will be integrated into the current Amazon music experience,” Amazon is communicating to all prospective rights owners.
(b) That is part of a larger bundled media offering that includes streaming television and free books (and, of course, free two-day shipping).
(c) It is unclear how much streaming access Amazon will offer, though conditional downloads (however defined) will be part of the offering. “The Service will offer Amazon Prime customers on-demand streaming and limited download access to a select amount of curated music,” the letter to rights owners continues.
(d) Outside of major labels and the largest content owners, independent labels will not be able to negotiate their terms. The contact is ‘take it or leave it,’ according to sources.
(e) It is unclear when this service will be launched (even to Amazon executives, most likely), though rights owners are being asked to sign the following by May 1st, 2014.
Here are the first two pages for major publishers that we’ve been able to acquire.
More details (and contact pages) as we receive them. Please send any additional information confidentially to firstname.lastname@example.org.