Amazon gives their "Prime" users access to unlimited streaming

Starting today Amazon's US$99-per-year membership gives users access to unlimited, ad-free streaming of their music catalogue.

Users will have access to content from Sony and Warner Music, though nothing released less than six months ago. It's not like these giant labels and their subsidiaries are ready to give up on the concept of actually selling their music quite yet.

Talks to acquire Universal's catalogue fell through, meaning the users won't have access to the world's largest music company, whose subsidiaries include Island, Def Jam, Mercury, Virgin and Capitol Records.

Universal acquired EMI, one of the former "Big Four," in 2012.

Verge reported that the big guys were offered a share of $25 million in royalties, and The New York Times reported that the non-giant labels share stock in a $5 million royalty pool.

The catalogue apparently has about 1 million songs, putting it far behind Spotify. But considering its huge user base, Amazon's move can still disrupt the biz.

As for the indies, a quick look shows artists signed to labels including Anti-, Secretly Canadian, Brassland, Merge and Matador have music available via Prime. This includes Glass Boys, the LP Fucked Up put out last week. So this whole six-month no-stream zone may just be for deals with Sony and Warner.

Of course, Canada is left out of the streaming fun. These licences don't extend North. Makes you wonder how the entertainment industry is going to access its U.S.-content-hungry Canadian market as streaming becomes the new norm.