Amazon’s big play against Spotify and Clubhouse lets you host a radio show

A radio show playing on the Amp app on a smartphone next to the Amp logo
(Image credit: Amazon)

Have you ever dreamed of hosting your own radio show filled with licensed tracks from the biggest artists out there? Amazon is now giving users the chance to do just that, and best of all it’s currently free - though you might not get access right away.

Amp is a new app that’s just launched a limited-access beta for iPhone and iPad users in the US that will allow you to host and listen to user-created radio shows live as they happen. Once a user has signed up, decided on what show they want to host, and created a music playlist they’ll be ready to take to the stage and show off their DJ skills.

The available music library at launch will include a catalog of “tens of millions of licensed songs from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and a long list of independent music companies” according to an Amazon blog post. So whether you love R&B or synthwave disco there’s sure to be a wide selection of tracks for you to showcase.

Now for the bad news. Unfortunately, you’ll need a unique code to be able to join the beta and take part as an Amp creator or listener. To snag one, you’ll need to sign up on the App Store waiting list, subscribe to the Amp Newsletter, or follow the @onamp_ social accounts on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok and keep an eye for when codes drop.

Those of you on Android and outside of the US will likely have to wait a little longer. Amazon has yet to announce a hard date on when the app will be available on the Play Store and to those abroad, but we’ve reached out to see if we can find out more. If we hear anything back we’ll be sure to update this page.

Analysis: an awesome new rival to Clubhouse

Amp isn’t the first live podcasting app / audio-only social platform to launch. Clubhouse is the first that most people will think of but its massive popularity, in turn, spawned the likes of Spotify’s Greenroom and Twitter Spaces among many, many others. 

However, Amazon may be on to a winner here with its own radio-like take on the medium.

For creatives that want to discuss music, Amp opens up an all-new way for them to discuss their love of genres and artists that deserve more attention - without the need to land a slot on a professional station.

It’ll also give people from a wider range of backgrounds the chance to develop radio DJ and hosting skills, as well as open up a slew of creative opportunities with Amazon saying that marketing support and creator programs are coming soon.

Even if you’re planning to discuss the latest sporting news or the biggest blockbuster films, creators will be able to add a level of prestige and uniqueness to their broadcast by using the music they love - rather than having to rely on whatever license free track they can find on the internet.

As Amp develops we may even see some of its tools extend to other Amazon-owned brands. Twitch creators have been playing fast and loose with copyrighted music and content in their live streams for some time. With the relationships Amazon develops through Amp, Twitch streamers may soon have an officially endorsed way to play licensed tracks in their shows.

We’ll have to wait and see what the future holds, but Amp could help to create some incredible new opportunities for online creators so we’ll be sure to pay close attention to where Amazon takes this project next.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.