Amazon pulls the plug on Amp, the live-audio app it launched last year to ‘reimagine radio’

Story by Kurt Schlosser  • 2mo

Amazon is pulling the plug on Amp, the audio app it launched last year to let users DJ their own live radio shows complete with a catalog of millions of licensed songs and the ability to engage with callers.

“We’ve made the difficult decision to close Amp,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement emailed to GeekWire on Wednesday. “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. 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.”

Bloomberg reported that it had viewed a memo about the decision from Steve Boom, head of the digital music unit at Amazon.

“This decision was not made quickly or easily,” Boom said. “It only became clear after months of careful consideration determining the investments Amazon wants to make for the future.”

Amazon had big plans to “reimagine radio” with Amp in March 2022. It signed on music personalities such as Nicki Minaj, Pusha T, and Travis Barker to promote the app.

But by October, Amp was already in trouble as Amazon conducted layoffs within the service. A company spokesperson said at the time that Amazon continually evaluates the progress and potential of its products and services makes adjustments based on those assessments.

“Following a recent review, we’ve made the decision to consolidate a few teams so we can focus on the growth and scaling of Amp,” the spokesperson said.

Two weeks ago, Insider reported that there was more trouble at the experimental service. After a leadership change, questions submitted for an internal town hall meeting “ranged from concerns about Amp’s business outlook to a lack of trust in the leadership team and allegations that internal work culture has grown ‘toxic,’” according to Insider.

Amazon is no stranger to audio content. Amazon Music and the Amazon-owned Audible audiobook company expanded into podcasts in 2020. The company also acquired the Wondery podcast production studio.

Amp launched during a pandemic-era time when companies such as Spotify and Clubhouse were offering similar services and content.

Related Posts