Where there's smoke there's usually fire ... and these leaked contracts sure make it look like Amazon is looking to launch a music streaming like service in the very near future.
The contract also makes mention of an option to offer consumers free access to music, but with limits: Consumers would be able to stream some songs for free, but only once for each recording. That kind of free tier could be a good promotion for the service itself, but the idea isn’t actually all that new. Subscribers of Google’s Play Music All Access subscription service can already share entire albums with their friends this way, giving them one shot to listen to each song.
Amazon has announced their own TV streaming device, dubbed Amazon Fire TV. The very small box will retail for $99, will be voice-activated (but can also come with an optional gaming controller) and connect with Hulu, Netflix and more. Lots of information can be found everywhere on the internet by now, but also there's stuff here.
Amazon has released the best selling albums and songs of all time on the service. Heartthrob by Tegan & Sara is this year's best-selling mp3 album, with Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend coming in second. Fun. has the 6th best selling mp3 album of all time on the service, and the third best selling mp3 of all time with "We Are Young" and the tenth with "Some Nights."
Amazon.co.uk has released a pretty cool infographic analyzing vinyl tastes, trends, and sales from the last few years - check it out in the replies. Some notable stats: Daft Punk's Random Access Memories is not only Amazon.co.uk's vinyl best-seller of 2013, but their best-seller since 1999. Also, rock music accounted for 55.6% of vinyl listening in 2012, compared to 44.3% in 2004; dance music saw the most drastic drop, falling from 18.9% of all vinyl to 3.9%. Interesting stuff.