Amazon Unplugs Live Audio Service Amp

Amazon has shut down live audio service Amp about 18 months after it launched in beta.

After live audio gained traction as a digital category during Covid, led by Clubhouse and imitators launched by Meta, Spotify, Twitter and others, the pendulum soon swung in the other direction. Clubhouse said last April it was “resetting” and laying off 50% of its staff.

Amazon had enlisted a roster of music talent, including artists like Lil Yachty, Nicki Minaj and Pusha T, to host Amp shows. The general aim of the service was to connect users through shared music or cultural touchpoints, allowing creators to talk over music or other audio and interact with each other.

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The shutdown of Amp was reported Wednesday by multiple media outlets, including Bloomberg, which reported that an internal memo said the decision to end Amp was not made “quickly or easily.” The call followed “months of careful consideration” of broader investment priorities.

Across its vast operations, Amazon has been retrenching noticeably under CEO Andy Jassy. Deadline was the first to report earlier Thursday that the company is laying off about 5% of its global communications workforce. Over the past year, 27,000 workers have been cut across the board and a corporate hiring freeze has been in place. Businesses and initiatives like free grocery delivery, wellness device Amazon Halo and autonomous delivery robot Amazon Scout have been abandoned.

When Amp launched in 2022, it wasn’t shy about proclaiming its ambition. “Our roadmap is robust, and focused on introducing interactive features to build communities and help everyone’s voice, big or small, be heard,” the company wrote in an introductory message on its website. “We’re working towards things like chat, creator monetization, and equitable discovery – to help small creators get found.”

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