Woman speaking into microphone on the radio

Amazon Calls It Quits on Live Audio Service Amp

Just 18 months after the social audio app launched

Amazon is shuttering live audio service Amp, just 18 months after its launch, reports CNBC. The company launched social audio Amp, their answer to Clubhouse, in March 2022 after preliminary testing proved successful. The goal of the free-to-download app was to let anyone become their own DJ, create their own music mixes, host their own radio shows, take callers, and connect with online communities. Amp gave creators access to a music catalog of tens of millions of licensed songs.


In addition, Amp touted shows with popular artists and creators including Nicki Minaj, Pusha T, Tinashe, Lindsey Stirling, Travis Barker, Lil Yachty and Big Boi, along with personalities like Tefi Pessoa and Nikita Dragun, and popular radio hosts and writers.

John Ciancutti, vice president of Amp, explained the social audio app this way at launch.

“Radio has always been about music and culture,” said Ciancutti. “But imagine if you were inventing the medium for the first time today. You’d combine what people love about radio—spontaneous talk, new music discovery, diverse personalities, and broad programming—with all that’s made possible by today’s technology. You’d make it so anybody with a phone, a voice, and a love for music could make their own show. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. Amp makes it possible for you to grab the mic and run the airwaves. We are creating a new version of radio that will have an infinite dial of shows.”

As the app evolved, Amp gave creators the opportunity to earn money from a Creator Fund, though certain conditions must be met to qualify. For example, a creator had to host at least one live show in a qualifying month, and they must adhere to the app’s terms of use, community guidelines and music guidelines. To be eligible, creators also had to be at least 18 years of age, live in the US, have a US bank account, and an email address associated with their Amazon account. Amp employees or contractors were not eligible to earn rewards.

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Though an Amazon spokesperson confirmed the shutdown of the app in a statement, the Amp website is still live, and it is still live in the Google Play Store.

“We’ve made the difficult decision to close Amp. 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,” the spokesperson said, according to CNBC.

The decision comes as Amazon continues to slash expenses, following layoffs of 27,000 employees since late last year. TechCrunch reports that the company cut nearly half of Amp’s workforce last year when Amazon’s layoffs began. Amp never really attracted the large audience it hoped for, and number of listener hours gradually declined. Similar services had lackluster success with live audio too including Clubhouse, Meta’s Live Audio Rooms and Spotify Live.

Source: Amazon

Insider Take

After the pandemic, live audio seemed to lose traction, and companies like Spotify and Meta cut and run when it was clear they were investing in a losing product. It took Amazon a bit longer to come to the same realization. It is always sad to see when a beloved (by some) product disappears, but we appreciate it when companies try new things, even when those experiments are short-lived.

Not every company needs to be good at everything, and this experiment proves that to be true. Amazon’s ventures into music have not been particularly successful so far, so maybe this isn’t a product they should have tried in the first place. Yes, companies need to diversify revenue streams and try new things, but they also need to know when to stay in their lane and focus on their strengths rather than trying to be all things to all customers. Maybe this is one of those times.

Copyright © 2023 Authority Media Network, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.

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