Amp, the live radio app launched by Amazon just last year, will soon be no more. Bloomberg reports that Steve Boom, the vice president of Amazon Music, sent a memo announcing the shutdown.
The Amp app still appears to be available for download and is still airing live radio shows as of the time of publication. The Verge has reached out to both Amp and Amazon Music for more details on when the service will officially sunset.
“This decision was not made quickly or easily,” Boom wrote, according to Bloomberg. “It only became clear after months of careful consideration determining the investments Amazon wants to make for the future.”
Amazon’s experiment in live audio only lasted about a year and a half — the app was first launched in March 2022 and seemed to be a competitor to Clubhouse and other live or social audio services launched during the pandemic. But unlike Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces, which allowed anyone to launch a live chat room on any topic, Amp was geared toward fans of music and talk radio. Any Amp user with an Amazon account could launch a live show and access millions of licensed songs, which they could compile into playlists and play for their followers. Amp users could “call in” to shows and ask hosts questions.
Amp pulled in musicians, comedians, podcasters, athletes, and other celebrities to host shows during its height — with the likes of Nicki Minaj, Jason Lee, Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, Joe Budden, Guy Raz of How I Built This, Pusha T, and others appearing for live programs on the service. But signs of trouble became apparent early on. Amazon cut half of Amp’s existing staff last year, amounting to roughly 150 employees.
Amp’s closure is the latest in the line of live audio services shuttering or pivoting after users have dropped off after the pandemic. Last month, Clubhouse announced it was reinventing itself as a group messaging app. Spotify also shut down its live audio feature earlier this year.
In response to questions from The Verge, Amazon Music spokesperson Rebecca Silverstein provided the following statement: “We’ve made the difficult decision to close Amp. In creating Amp, we tried something that had never been done before and built a product that gave creators a place where they could build genuine connections with each other, and share a common love for music. We learned a lot about how live music communities interact in the process, which we are bringing to bear as we build new fan experiences at scale in Amazon Music.”