Amazon launches ‘live radio’ app, Amp, that lets you DJ – TechCrunch
Amazon’s Clubhouse competitor has arrived. The retail giant on Tuesday launched a new mobile app called amp, which lets people create live “radio shows” where they can act as a DJ by taking calls and playing tracks from tens of millions of songs licensed from Amazon Music, ranging from classics to today’s music. The app is available in a limited US beta, Amazon said.
“It’s easy to share your voice and favorite songs with the world on Amp,” reads the app’s description on the App Store. “Decide on a show title, create a playlist, and you’re seconds away from playing your own radio show.”
Picture credits: Amazon
The new application, which was previously reported by The Verge when in development as Project Mic, represents Amazon’s somewhat late entry into the live audio market. While the Clubhouse app led the way in establishing a new format for live audio social interactions, the idea has since been launched in numerous competitors – each with their own angle, including Twitter spaces, rooms live audio from Facebook, Spotify’s Greenroom and those from smaller startups, like Mark Cuban-backed Fireside or David Sacks-backed Callin.
However, for the most part, these Clubhouse rivals have focused on conversation – like live podcasts. Amazon’s amp differentiates itself by offering direct access to the wider Amazon Music catalog. This means that Amp users can DJ, stream and discuss their favorite songs and artists to establish themselves as a creator. Or they can use the app to talk about anything else – like sports or pop culture, for example – but do so while maintaining a selection of music for their listeners and taking live callers.
According to Amp’s App Store description, creators will also be able to pre-schedule and schedule their shows, alert listeners to their upcoming shows, control who’s talking when they take live calls and more. Notably, creators don’t have to pay labels when accessing their show’s music, the app’s listing notes.
Users will log in using their Amazon credentials or can create a new Amazon account to use Amp. Amazon also provides a 24/7 moderation team that reviews reports and takes action in real time.
After this story was published, Amazon broke the news of Amp’s arrival. through a blog post in which the company mentioned that its catalog of tens of millions of licensed songs includes those from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and other independent music companies, such as Beggars Group, Believe, CD Baby and PIAS, with more being added.
As part of the beta, Amp is also announcing a slate of upcoming shows, including one from Nicki Minaj, who will soon bring the return of her show, “Queen Radio“, to Amp. Other shows are from Pusha T, singer-songwriter Tinashe, electronic artist and violinist Lindsey Stirling, Travis Barker, Lil Yachty and Big Boi; well-known personalities Tefi Pessoa and Nikita Dragun; popular radio hosts Zach Sang, Kat Corbett, Christian James Hand and Guy Raz; and writers from music and culture publication The FADER, Amazon said.
“Radio has always been about music and culture,” Amp Vice President John Ciancutti said in a statement regarding the launch. “But imagine if you invented the medium for the first time today. You would combine what people love about radio (spontaneous talking, discovering new music, diverse personalities and extensive programming) with everything made possible by radio. technology of today. You’d make it so anyone with a phone, a voice, and a love for music could make their own show. And that’s exactly what we do. Amp lets you grab the microphone and broadcast the airwaves. We are creating a new version of radio that will have an infinite number of broadcasts,” he added.
Amp’s app is currently only available with an access code, Amazon noted.
Earlier this morning, Amp’s website was still password protected, but it has since gone live.
People can now download the Amp app from the US iOS App Store, join the waitlist, and subscribe to the Amp Newsletter. People can also follow @onamp_ social accounts on instagram, Twitter and ICT Tacwhere Amazon said it would regularly drop codes to join the app.
Editor’s note: Updated 3/8/22 9:15 a.m. ET with information shared by Amazon after our publication.