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Amazon shutters Amp, its live audio-only social app


Amazon has decided to discontinue its relatively short-lived audio app called Amp, as reported by Bloomberg. Amp, which had been in operation since March 2022, allowed users to curate and broadcast personalized DJ sets from a music library. Available on both Android and iOS platforms, Amp garnered some attention during the pandemic but failed to gain significant traction. The app aimed to empower content creators to produce modern DJ-hosted content, enabling users to blend conversations and live music, akin to traditional radio broadcasts.

However, it’s no secret that traditional radio is facing decline, and the competition in the streaming arena is fierce. Many creators in the niche realm of online DJing had already established themselves on mainstream platforms like YouTube and TikTok or specialized music platforms like Stationhead and Tidal. Amp was even initially seen as a potential competitor to Clubhouse. Nevertheless, Amazon did not explicitly state the reasons behind discontinuing Amp or how close it was to becoming profitable. Steve Boom, who led Amp at Amazon, conveyed in a memo to Bloomberg that the decision was not hasty or easy.

One possible factor in Amp’s demise could be its failure to gain mainstream popularity as Amazon had hoped. When reviewed by James Trew, it was noted that attracting listeners was a challenge. The mobile-first platform also imposed peculiar limitations on content creation and consumption, which might have contributed to its downfall. For instance, it restricted users to playing only two songs from the same album within a three-hour window, significantly limiting a DJ’s ability to craft a truly customized set.

The discontinuation of Amp follows a series of cutbacks by Amazon, including the dissolution of its Halo division in April and the termination of the Amazon Scout robot delivery service around the same time last year. These moves suggest ongoing internal restructuring within the company.

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