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Rumors of an Amazon music service, TV set-top box swirl yet again

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We're still not sure whether Amazon's truly launching a music streaming service, but if it does, you might only be able to access songs and albums for a limited time. According to the Wall Street Journal, the e-commerce company hopes to offer music streaming as part of Prime to justify an annual membership (from $79 to $119) price increase. Unlike other services like Spotify or Pandora, Amazon's end goal is to entice people to download tracks from its MP3 store, hence, the time limit. Meanwhile, Billboard reports on rumors compiled from sources at multiple labels, where Amazon's apparently going after older titles, and proposing smaller, capped payments based on the number of plays. The service's existence depends on whether Amazon and recording companies can agree on licensing fees, though -- it's reportedly far from being a done deal.

Music streaming isn't the only Amazon rumor that's recently resurfaced with more details. Remember the streaming box the company was supposedly launching last year? Well, according to GigaOm, when it does become available, it'll come loaded with Netflix and Hulu Plus in addition to Prime Instant Video. It's also intriguing that Amazon appears on a list of companies registered to use the DIAL protocol pushed by Netflix and YouTube. That suggests the ability to fire and control streams from your mobile apps for those services and/or the addition of similar features to Amazon Instant Video. Of course, none of these are set in stone (hey, Amazon hasn't even confirmed either product yet) until we hear from the company itself.

[Image credit: Mike Seyfang/Flickr]

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