Amazon Prime (Finally) Signs Deal for Universal Music Artists

Taylor Swift 2015
Fernando Leon/Getty Images for TAS

Taylor Swift performs onstage at Sprint Center on Sept. 21, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Subscribers to Amazon's Prime service -- the company's music and video streaming, and shipping discount, service -- can now stream the likes of Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lana Del Rey, Maroon 5, Of Monsters and Men, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Ellie Goulding, Drake, Lorde, Jessie J and Eminem.

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Universal Music Group, long a holdout from Prime, struck a deal with the Seattle-based company earlier this week. While a total number of artists included in UMG's licensing wasn't made public, sources tell Billboard the number stands at around 1,000 and includes genres like jazz and classical, which skew to an older demographic that Prime is seen as being strong with.

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Up to this point, UMG was rumored to be unimpressed with the flat-rate licensing deal the retail giant offered labels for partial access to their catalogs. Sources tell Billboard the deal is as good, if not better, than other premium on-demand music services. At a million tracks, Prime's well of songs is much more shallow than that of other subscription streaming services, which tout their 30 million-plus access. Amazon is not playing that game, instead choosing to offer robust original programming like Transparent and steep discounts on retail goods and services. 

One aspect of Prime enticing to some labels may be that, for the most part, Prime doesn't keep artists' most recent albums on offer, instead steering fans towards buying the newest release instead.