Image Credit: Amazon

Amazon has confirmed it’s closing its user-generated radio service, Amp, just a year and a half after its launch.

Amp made its debut in March 2022 as Amazon aimed to create a unique music-radio network where listeners could double as DJs, which at the time was a new offering in music streaming.

While the world was in lockdown, services such as Clubhouse ignited the hype around live audio in streaming, but even they have since announced their pivot to messaging.

Amazon Music pulls the shutters on Amp

At Amps’ launch, Amazon even enlisted high-profile artists such as Nicki Minaj, Travis Barker, and Lil Yachty as hosts, while also securing licensing deals with all 3 major labels and independent artists.

Nevertheless, despite its ambitious premise, Amp struggled to gain traction and is now following in the footsteps of Spotify’s ill-fated live-audio venture, Spotify Live. Bloomberg first reported the closure, with official confirmation coming from Amazon shortly thereafter.

Amazon’s spokesperson expressed the company’s rationale for the closure, stating, “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.”

Amp’s closure raises questions about the future of live audio in the music streaming industry. Despite these challenges, there is still a place for live broadcasts within the music-streaming sphere.

Amazon Music has introduced several shows and live-streamed performances on its sister platform, Twitch. Meanwhile, Apple Music operates its Apple Music Radio network and Stationhead.

Therefore, Amp’s failure to gain mainstream popularity led Amazon to the decision to shut it down, as it faced competition from already established platforms like YouTube and TikTok, as well as more music-focused alternatives like Stationhead and Tidal.

On the other hand, critics have noted limitations in Amp’s content creation and listening capabilities. These include restrictions on playing multiple songs from the same album within a specified time frame which hinders DJs from creating fully customized sets.

Amazon’s move to close Amp aligns with a series of restructuring efforts within the company, including the dissolution of its Halo division and the abandonment of its robot delivery service, Amazon Scout.

While Amp’s experiment in live audio has come to an end, Amazon Music aims to leverage the insights gained from this venture to develop new fan experiences at scale. The music-streaming industry continues to evolve, with live audio remaining a dynamic and competitive field.