Amazon is the latest addition to the list of tech companies taking a leap into the live audio space. Amazon is an American multinational technology company that has transitioned from e-commerce into cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence. Reports say the tech company is developing a new app which may be called “Project Mic.” The new app is said to democratize and reinvent radio, something different from popular live audio apps known today. According to a presentation viewed by The Verge, users will be able to distribute a live radio show and complete with music. This audio project will be focused on the US initially before moving to other parts.
Another difference the new app is bringing is the ability for listeners to tune in either through the app or through Audible, Amazon Music, Twitch, and Alexa-equipped devices. The new app will have listeners participating with shows using their voice even on Alexa-enabled devices. Amazon’s idea of reinventing radio will see the app experience optimized for cars. According to The Verge, a mockup app image seen depicts a screen listing shows that are currently live; trending topics, like #NBA or #hot100; and featured creators. Users will also be able to search for content by topic, name, or music.
In addition to the new radio experience Amazon is bringing, users will be able to add and remove their preferred program from Amazon’s music catalog. With the help of celebrities, talents along smaller tastemakers the company plans to showcase the app and generate diverse content. Although the app is highly music-focused, programs will focus on key areas like pop culture, comedy, and sports
With the “Project Mic” audio platform in view, Amazon registers its name with the likes of Apple, Spotify, and even Sonos, who are also looking at reinventing radio. All these companies have put in so many resources to recreate radio experiences digitally. For Amazon curated programs as perceived as something that can be localized. These shows and ads can be targeted based on the location of the listener. Plus, with interaction being able to happen through Echo devices, the call-in experience can also be replicated.
Although Clubhouse was the first to sell fans the idea of a live audio experience, the app hasn’t opened its users up to the idea of playing music from major artists while on the app. The app continues to position itself as a social network rather than a place users can shop for various audio needs. Meanwhile, Spotify in particular seems to be making a significant effort in dominating in its own way. The company has a show called The GetUp, it’s a daily morning show which combines the idea of personalized music recommendations with a talk show. The company also started a waitlist as an avenue to sell its Bluetooth-equipped Car Thing more widely. Amazon also has a Bluetooth-enabled, Alexa-equipped device for the cars called the Echo Auto, but is yet to showcase a new version since its initial launch. Amazon has also secured partnerships with car manufacturers that allow its Alexa assistant pre-installed in vehicles before they are shipped, this may go a long way to drive the new app to reach listeners.
Amazon is yet to make comments about its interest in the live audio space and how it has involved record labels to coordinate live events with artists for content generation.