Amazon shuts down live radio app Amp just 18 months after launch

The app enabled users to create their own live radio show and even add commentary between songs.

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Amazon. Credit: Omar Marques/Getty

Amazon has turned off its live radio app, Amp, after just a year and a half of operation.

The app allowed users to create their own live radio show, where they could also provide commentary between songs in the manner of a real-life radio DJ.

Now, Bloomberg reports that 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”.

The app failed to secure any significant growth since launching in March 2022, despite its big-name launch announcing shows from the likes of Nicki Minaj, Pusha T, Travis Barker and Lil Yachty. Amazon even introduced a creator fund in September 2022 to ure more users to the platform,  allocating “millions of dollars” to pay show makers through monthly rewards.

Amp had nearly 700,000 monthly active users in July, according to sources speaking to TechCrunch.

However, Amazon disputed the accuracy of these figures and analytics company noted that Amp had 1.3 million lifetime downloads.

Despite this, the Jeff Bezos-founded company cut almost half of Amp’s staff last year during a round of mass layoffs and the app only persuaded a few thousand people to sign up for Amazon, as per documents seen by TechCrunch in July.

Post-pandemic, many live audio apps across the board have struggled to retain user interest, with both Meta and Spotify deciding to shelve real-time audio platforms and divert resources elsewhere last year. Meanwhile, Reddit shut down its live audio product, Reddit Talk, in March.

Even Clubhouse, the ultra-exclusive app pioneering real-time conversations, has resorted to introducing chatrooms with asynchronous voice messages. in an effort to ramp up flagging engagement.

Bloomberg also reported that some features from Amp might be incorporated into Amazon Music, the company will try and take learnings of the live-music community interaction to build fan experiences.


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