There have long been rumors that Amazon (S AMZN) is working on a Spotify-like music subscription service, and a new leak suggests that the work on such a service is progressing. Digital Music News posted part of a licensing agreement on its website Friday that it claims to have obtained from a music publisher.
The contract mentions that Amazon plans to launch “one or more digital music subscription service(s),” which would be available “as part of a bundle with one or more other Amazon products or services.” One of these services is in all likelihood going to be Amazon’s Prime two-day shipping service, which already includes video content as an added bonus.
The contract also makes mention of an option to offer consumers free access to music, but with limits: Consumers would be able to stream some songs for free, but only once for each recording. That kind of free tier could be a good promotion for the service itself, but the idea isn’t actually all that new. Subscribers of Google’s (S GOOG) Play Music All Access subscription service can already share entire albums with their friends this way, giving them one shot to listen to each song.
Digitial Music News is reporting that publishers were asked to sign this contract by May 1st, suggesting that the launch of Amazon’s music service could be just around the corner. That may also explain why Amazon’s new Fire TV streaming box isn’t offering access to the site’s current music offerings at launch. The company has said that Fire TV owners will be able to access Amazon’s MP3 cloud locker next month.