Less than two years after getting into the live radio game, Amazon wants out. A new report says Amazon AMP is getting unplugged.
According to that Bloomberg report, Amazon Music Vice President Steve Boom sent an internal memo announcing the shutdown to staff. The AMP app is still currently available on Google Play and iOS—though it’s unclear how long that will last. “This decision was not made quickly or easily,” Bloomberg writes, citing the internal memo. “It only became clear after months of careful consideration determining the investments Amazon wants to make for the future.”
The app appeared to be aimed at competing in the Clubhouse live audio space, but it’s unclear how much traction that segment has. Clubhouse was able to capitalize on the pandemic lockdowns to build massive popularity before it to has deflated from its pandemic highs. Twitter Spaces also offer a place to launch a live chat room on any topic with a much bigger audience than Amazon AMP.
Still, the idea was to make radio more democratic by allowing anyone with an Amazon account to host a live show, playing millions of licensed songs. Those sets could then be compiled into playlists and shared for their followers—something many people already do with Spotify’s community playlists. The AMP app also allowed its hosts to take viewer call-ins, emulating the traditional radio experience even further.
In its effort to attract listeners, Amazon worked with musicians, podcasters, comedians, and other celebrities to create content for the platform. Jason Lee, Nicki Minaj, Joe Budden, Pusha T, Nick Cannon, and many others appeared on live programs on the service. While Amazon initially invested heavily in talent to attract listeners, it became apparent the live audio app wasn’t a focus when Amazon laid off half of the AMP staff last year—about 150 employees.
“We’ve made the difficult decision to close Amp. In creating Amp, we tried something that had never been done before and built a product that gave creators a place where they could build genuine connections with each other, and share a common love for music,” Amazon Music spokesperson Rebecca Silverstein says in a statement. “We learned a lot about how live music communities interact in the process, which we are bringing to bear as we build new fan experiences at scale in Amazon Music.”