Amazon Launches Editorial Outlet 'Music Notes'

Amazon.com has introduced Amazon Music Notes, an editorially-driven Web offering intended to drive music sales, Amazon Prime adoption and book purchases. The move comes amid a larger rebranding effort by the Seattle-based retailer under the new Amazon Music umbrella, uniting mobile apps, a desktop streaming player, and an integrated MP3 store under one name.

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Amazon used Tumblr as its publishing platform for Music Notes, allowing users to pass around the site’s daily music news, interviews with music figures, video clips and other interactive content. The site also features the backward-looking “Amazon Essentials,” a series of stories about iconic albums of the past such as Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The U.S.A.” and Prince’s “Purple Rain” -- a feature well-suited to the patchy Prime Music streaming service, which is heavy on catalog albums and features nothing released in the past six months. In addition, Music Notes includes the “Amazon Book Club” feature in which an artist discusses a favorite volume. Most, if not all, of the items feature links to purchase or stream relevant content.

The company appears to have been curating some content on the Tumblr account for some time, but the site largely took its present form only in the past few days. The Amazon Music Twitter account -- formerly known as @amazonmp3, but tellingly rebranded this month as @amazonmusic -- noted Amazon Music Notes’ existence on Tuesday:

For now, Music Notes is web-only, although there’s a chance its content could appear somewhere else eventually. The company recently launched its new Amazon Music mobile app and gave the same name to its revamped desktop player, formerly known as Amazon Cloud Player. Both were introduced when the company added a limited catalog of music to the Amazon Prime service June 12. 

Although Amazon touted some seemingly large user adoption numbers Monday, noting that Prime subscribers had already played tens of millions of songs totaling millions of hours of music, its early impact on the streaming market may still be small.