Amazon is shutting down its live-radio app Amp, the company has confirmed to Billboard.
“We’ve made the difficult decision to close Amp,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”
News of the shirtdown was first reported by Bloomberg.
Launched in March 2022, Amp allowed users to host their own shows by streaming music from a catalog of tens of millions of licensed songs from the three major labels, as well as indies including Beggars Group, PIAS, Believe and CD Baby. Though it was designed primarily for non-celebrity creators, Amp also hosted shows from high-profile artists including Pusha T, Tinashe, Travis Barker, Lil Yachty, Lindsey Stirling, Big Boi and Nicki Minaj, who brought her Apple Music show, Queen Radio, to the platform at launch. In September 2022, the platform also established a monthly fund to reward emerging U.S.-based creators for building loyal audiences on the app.
The Amp shuttering comes nearly a year after Business Insider reported that Amazon had laid off 150 employees at the app. At the time, the company confirmed to Billboard that it had chosen “to consolidate a few teams” at the division.
More widespread layoffs at Amazon came in January when the company announced it would jettison 18,000 employees, followed by its termination of an additional 9,000 employees in March. The layoffs affected workers across multiple divisions, including Amazon’s cloud computing unit AWS, its advertising business, gaming platform Twitch and stores division PXT. The cuts arrived following a surge in hiring amid the pandemic, during which Amazon doubled its employee count. But demand slowed once restrictions eased and people began venturing out of their homes again.
In March, following the announcement of the 9,000 additional layoffs, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said the company was in the midst of streamlining its operations due to the wobbly economy and the “uncertainty that exists in the near future.”
Live audio experiments flourished during the pandemic, with similar products including Clubhouse, Spotify Live (formerly Spotify Greenroom) and Twitter Spaces (now X Spaces) flooding the burgeoning space over a two-year period. But few gained traction: Spotify Live shut down in April 2023, while last month, Clubhouse rebranded itself as a social messaging app after waning in popularity once pandemic restrictions lifted. An outlier among these is Stationhead, which remains a popular vehicle to boost the streaming performance of new releases from A-list artists, including, recently, stars like Olivia Rodrigo and Ed Sheeran.
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