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Amazon’s Understated App Amp Aims to Revolutionize Radio

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Amazon Amp

Amazon unveiled its much-anticipated live audio-streaming platform, Amp, in the spring of last year. The app’s goal was to transform radio by offering an endless selection of shows. Amp permits users to create their own DJ sets using its extensive in-built music library, without worrying about purchasing songs or dealing with DMCA issues. The users can compile playlists, go live, converse between tracks, monitor the chat and even invite callers. Although promising when I wrote about it a year ago, it was only available on iOS, had few users, and offered limited features.

Just over a year later, Amp has achieved a significant milestone: it is now accessible on Android. Amp, Amazon’s first self-developed streaming platform, was an Apple exclusive for over a year, which provided a degree of technical consistency and a self-regulated growth and user number restriction. However, as it opens up to the other half of the smartphone world, it is about to face the full competition in an already crowded social-creator scene.

For Amp, extending beyond iOS is crucial, even though the platform is still in beta (and only available in the US). However, the broader accessibility of Google’s operating system – from TVs to Chromebooks and beyond – is a crucial step in Amazon’s quest to prove it can build a viable streaming platform from scratch, rather than simply acquiring an established one.

There are countless platforms for DJ sessions and internet radio, whether on large platforms like YouTube and TikTok, direct competitors like Stationhead or Tidal (via its Live Sessions feature), or even Amazon Music’s own DJ Mode. Not to mention the throng of DJs on Amazon-owned Twitch. And, of course, there’s FM radio. So, what sets Amp apart?

According to Zach Sang, an Amp contractor and former broadcast DJ, it’s “very much like Sirius meets YouTube.” He explained that Amp brings together “real-life, legacy career broadcasters mixed with the future of those broadcasters… it’s radio democratized… programmed for people and not for profit.” From a user’s standpoint, Amp’s unique selling point seems to be its focus on radio and radio-style shows specifically, along with the built-in music library.

Daily show host Christina “Criti” Gonzalez describes Amp as a unique space where “you’re able to listen to all the music you’ve forgotten about, didn’t know about and crave to hear, again with personalities and so many people of different walks of life that have one common interest – music.”

Matt Sandler, Amp Co-Founder, felt that existing platforms were not delivering what listeners or creators desired. Amp has signed deals with celebrities and recognized presenters like Nicki Minaj, Joe Budden, Nick Cannon, and Sang to give the platform some star power.

In contrast to Clubhouse’s early popularity surge, Amp has mostly remained unnoticed since its launch. Even now, the app is busier than it was at launch, but the average number of listeners for most shows is still disappointingly low. Despite this, many users have stated that they are not discouraged by the low numbers. They appreciate the close-knit community feel, and the warm and welcoming culture.

Since Amp remains in beta, some technical hitches still occur. While minor glitches like disappearing chat messages can be annoying, more significant issues like stream crashes or hosts getting kicked out of their shows can be frustrating. As Amp expands to Android and potentially draws in more users, these technical issues might intensify.

Amp is still figuring out monetization, with its current main revenue source being an opaque creator fund. As Amp grows, the challenge will be to scale up while maintaining its unique charm. It will also need to provide realistic revenue streams to keep and attract creators. All this while improving visibility to grow its user base, thereby making creator economy more viable.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Amazon Amp

What is Amazon Amp?

Amazon Amp is a live audio-streaming platform launched by Amazon. It provides users with access to a vast music library to create their own DJ sets. Users can make a playlist, go live, speak between tracks, follow the chat, and even invite callers.

When was Amazon Amp launched?

Amazon Amp was launched in spring the previous year.

Was Amazon Amp initially exclusive to iOS?

Yes, when Amazon Amp was first launched, it was exclusive to iOS. However, a little over a year after its launch, the platform became available on Android.

What sets Amazon Amp apart from other music-streaming platforms?

Amazon Amp distinguishes itself from other platforms by its focus on radio-style shows, coupled with its vast built-in music library. It aims to democratize radio by allowing creators to curate music and converse with the community on air.

Who are some notable personalities on Amazon Amp?

Amazon Amp has signed deals with celebrities and well-known presenters like Nicki Minaj, Joe Budden, Nick Cannon, and Zach Sang to give the platform a more known-name appeal.

How is Amazon Amp being monetized?

As of now, Amp pays out many of its hosts through a creator fund. However, Amp aims to ensure that creators can earn through the service over time, not just through the fund, but through other mechanisms as well.

Are there any technical issues with Amazon Amp?

Users have reported occasional technical issues with the app, ranging from minor annoyances like chat glitches to more significant problems such as a stream crashing or a host being kicked out of their own show. These issues are likely related to the fact that Amp is still in beta.

More about Amazon Amp

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JessieL August 1, 2023 - 12:53 pm

Didn’t know about Amp before, seems pretty cool. Does anyone know how to start a show there?

SarahG August 1, 2023 - 2:53 pm

Amp seems like a good concept, but do they really have a chance against giants like Spotify and Apple music?

JustAsking August 1, 2023 - 3:59 pm

So how do the creators get paid? wasn’t very clear on that bit… anyone know more?

CriticsCorner August 1, 2023 - 5:10 pm

Still in beta huh, they need to iron out those technical issues ASAP. nothing kills a good app like bad tech…

NotSure August 1, 2023 - 6:45 pm

Sounds cool n all but there’s already so many music platforms out there, is this really different or just another app?

TheRealMJ August 1, 2023 - 7:39 pm

Nicki Minaj on Amp? Guess I know where I’m hosting my next virtual party. Lol.

TechGuru August 1, 2023 - 8:59 pm

What an interesting concept… Amazon really is trying to reinvent radio with this Amp. Looking forward to seeing how it grows.

MusicFanatic August 2, 2023 - 2:29 am

Amp is awesome! been using it since it launched on iOS. Love creating my own DJ sets. Super excited it’s now on Android too!

DJ_Spin August 2, 2023 - 6:06 am

As a DJ, this could be a game-changer. Being able to host shows with their music library…count me in.

AndroidUser August 2, 2023 - 6:11 am

Finally! Been waiting for them to launch on Android, can’t wait to check it out.


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