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Amazon Music Could Be Songza

Stocks in this article: AMZN P AAPL

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In September, I causally dropped this thought into a Pandora (P) article:

I'm of the understanding that Songza will head in more of an e-commerce direction. That's something Pandora likely isn't comfortable with. Keep an eye on Amazon.com (AMZN) as Songza is more up their alley.

Little known fact: Arnie Street owned Songza. Amazon acquired Arnie Street in 2010. It's unclear -- even when I asked Songza -- exactly what Amazon's role is with the company. But we do know that Amazon is/has been an investor in the streaming music service.

For whatever reason, it feels like a hush-hush arrangement. Nobody has ever really wanted to give precise details about the relationship, other than to say there kind of, sort of is one and, yes, it involves an investment.

All of this to say, don't be surprised if -- in one way, shape or form -- Amazon Music ends up being Songza.

Because Songza ultimately wants to become an e-commerce focused music service.

What does that mean?

Well, it naturally extends from Songza's current focus on serving playlists on the basis of your mood or what you're doing at the moment.

Songza aims to provide the perfect advertisement and, quite possibly, the ideal e-commerce opportunity for what you're doing, thinking, feeling.   

The idea is that music acts as the soundtrack for people's lives -- from big think, all-encompassing and day-to-day activity standpoints. That's at least how it was explained to me last year when I did some digging and talked to people about Songza's plans.

It's not there yet, but that's the thought process behind the ongoing evolution. And what better way to get there than having Amazon put the full power of its beast behind you. 

Plus, if the aforementioned model isn't right up Amazon's alley, I'm not sure what is.

At its most straightforward and basic level, Amazon unveils a generic music service, designed to make its ecosystem more attractive to prospective users and stickier for existing customers. Just like it does with everything else from hardware to streaming video. It has never been about competing with Apple's (AAPL); rather it's all about getting people to buy more stuff via Amazon.com.

That said, don't be surprised if Amazon takes things a step or three further, instituting a more direct e-commerce angle cut from the mold of Songza. Or, who knows, It might actually be Songza. This approach dings Pandora because, as I have been harping lately, Pandora continues to fail miserably at using its platform and data to market music.

Just my two cents as everybody else is writing the generic Amazon to try to grab a piece of Apple's pie story. While that might indeed be the relatively boring case, don't be shocked if it's more than that. It makes an awful lot of sense if it is.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks. Rocco Pendola is a columnist for TheStreet. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.

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