Lack of stars like Taylor Swift may damage Amazon's venture

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The Independent Online

Taylor Swift won’t be on it, having gone exclusive with Apple after the two dealt with their “Bad Blood”. Nor will Universal Music  – so no Lady Gaga or Nicki Minaj (who’s also had some bad blood with Taylor).

In fact Amazon’s music streaming service was looking a bit threadbare at its UK launch. One million tracks might sound big, but it pales by comparison with the 30 million plus boasted by the likes of Spotify and Apple.

The point is, of course, that you don’t have to shell out Apple’s £120 a year for the Amazon service. You get it as part of its £79 Prime extras package. It’s designed to entice new users to join and spend their cash in Amazon’s bewildering array of online stores.

The service might therefore appeal to the budget-conscious casual listener as opposed to the committed music fan.

As such, Amazon Music is very different to Amazon’s Prime Instant Video, which stands up much better when compared to competitors such as Netflix or Sky.

But if you’re planning a limited service – as Amazon is doing – you need the big guns to make it worthwhile. You need artists with mass appeal. That means dealing with the ever contentious issue of royalties. Which is how Apple got Taylor to bite.

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