Amazon turns off the volume on Amp, its live radio app
Amazon has shut down its Clubhouse competitor’s live radio app Amp almost 18 months after its launch. The app allowed users to play DJ and provide commentary alongside playing tracks.
The company’s lead for digital music, Steve Boom, sent a memo internally saying the decision to shut down the platform “only became clear after months of careful consideration determining the investments Amazon wants to make for the future,” as reported by Bloomberg.
The app, introduced in March 2022, failed to register any significant growth and had nearly 700,000 monthly active users in July, sources told TechCrunch. Amazon responded by saying that these metrics were “inaccurate.” Analytics company data.ai noted that Amp had 1.3 million lifetime downloads.
The company cut almost half of Amp’s staff last year during mass layoffs at the company. The app also failed to tempt users to sign up for Amazon as that number was in just single-digit thousands, as per documents seen by Techcrunch in July.
Amazon tried to ride the live audio hype fueled by the pandemic. At the launch, Amp announced shows from big-name artists such as Nicki Minaj, Pusha T, singer-songwriter Tinashe, electronic artist and violinist Lindsey Stirling, Travis Barker, Lil Yachty, and Big Boi; well-known personalities Tefi Pessoa and Nikita Dragun; popular radio hosts Zach Sang, Kat Corbett, Christian James Hand, and Guy Raz.
The company even introduced a creator fund in September 2022 by allocating “millions of dollars” to pay show makers through monthly rewards.
But post-pandemic, the live audio apps haven’t been able to maintain user interest. Both Meta and Spotify gave up on real-time audio efforts last year and decided to shift its resources elsewhere. Reddit shut down its live audio product Reddit Talk in March.
Even Clubhouse, the a16z back startup that pioneered real-time conversations, is trying to ramp up engagement by introducing chatrooms with asynchronous voice messages.
We might see some experiences from Amp in Amazon Music, as Bloomberg mentioned that the company will try and take learnings of the live-music community interaction to build fan experiences.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.