Amazon is shutting down its short-lived audio app known as Amp, which previously offered a music library for users to create and broadcast custom DJ sets, according to reports by Bloomberg. Amazon’s Amp was available on Android and iOS and has only been live since March of 2022. While a pandemic bubble might have given it some attention, it never really took off. The tool was designed to allow creators to make custom content as modern DJ hosts. On this mobile-forward app, users could overlap conversations and chit-chat with live music, similar to what you would hear on a traditional radio station.
But as we all know, radio is dying as it is. And it's no question that competition in the streaming space is hot. A lot of creators in the niche subset of online DJing might have already been on mainstream platforms like YouTube and TikTok or on more music-focused platforms like Stationhead or Tidal. The app was even initially reported as “something of a Clubhouse competitor.” Yet, Amazon did not explicitly cite why they made the decision to kill Amp altogether, or how far off it was from saving. In a memo to Bloomberg, Steve Boom, who led Amp at Amazon said that the decision was “not made quickly or easily.”
It may have something to do with the fact that it just never picked up in the mainstream as Amazon would have liked it to. When our very own James Trew put it to the test, he said he had trouble getting listeners. The mobile-first platform had some unusual limitations for how content could be created and listened to — all in all, probably playing to its downfall. For example, you could only play two songs from the same album within a three-hour period, which is a considerable amount of time to block off a DJ from being able to create a truly custom set.
The axing of Amp follows a series of cuts from the big box retailer, namely its Halo division which it dissolved back in April and Amazon Scout, a robot delivery service it killed before it could even start, around this time last year. This could signal some internal restructuring is still well underway at Amazon.