Amazon launches Amp audio communication app

Amazon has introduced a consumer-focused social communication app called Amp that businesses might find useful in promoting their brands.

The company put the free Apple iPhone app into beta this week, joining the ranks of similar audio-only apps like Clubhouse, Spotify Greenroom and Twitter Spaces. Although aimed at the consumer market, Amp could provide businesses with another way to deliver messages to customers.

Amp lets hosts use their smartphones to create and stream talk shows and music shows that include taking calls from listeners. Users can also follow creators, view their scheduled sessions, and tap into a library of millions of licensed songs from major music labels.

Amp is only available for the Apple iOS operating system. Future releases will add integrations to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and better search and discovery features.

Businesses could use the app to send messages to customers, industry watchers said. Amp-created shows could engage listeners and associate a positive experience with a company’s brand.

“Bringing the community into an interactive experience changes the way creators and fans can activate motions, launch new artwork, and of course build new fanbases,” said R “Ray” Wang, founder of Constellation Research.

Companies use similar apps for marketing, including the vocal social media service Clubhouse. Pet food brand Pedigree and cryptocurrency exchange sponsor Coinbase and participate in Clubhouse discussions.

Amp could be useful for virtual events, said Zeus Kerravala, founder of ZK Research. An Amp broadcast could allow non-attendees to hear a breakout session and call in if they wish to speak to the presenter. Such a scenario would broaden the audience of a session.

“With a tool like this, I could listen for a few minutes, [see] if I like the content and join, instead of having to make the decision beforehand,” he said.

Amazon launched the Amp communication app to create audio broadcasts.

Amp is unlikely to replace existing communication tools companies use to reach their audiences, Kerravala said. Instead, the app can expand a company’s communication efforts, providing customers with an additional mechanism to interact with a company.

“It’s not better on its own, but it adds to the choice people want,” Kerravala said.

People interested in using Amp must wait their turn by signing up on a waiting list. Amazon chose to limit access to gather early adopter feedback for feature development. Users must log in with an Amazon account.

Mike Gleason is a journalist specializing in unified communications and collaboration tools. He previously covered communities in the Massachusetts MetroWest region for the Milford Daily News, Walpole time, Sharon’s lawyer and Medfield Press. He has also worked for newspapers in central Massachusetts and southwestern Vermont and served as local editor of Room. He can be found on Twitter at @MGleason_TT.

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