Skyrocketing Wearables Market Welcomes Amazon Music’s First Smartwatch App

Skyrocketing Wearables Market Welcomes Amazon Music's First Smartwatch App

Garmin International this week announced that Amazon Music is now available on compatible Garmin smartwatches, marking the music streaming app’s first entry into the booming wearables market.

Amazon Music’s new app allows Amazon subscribers to download and play music on Garmin smartphones by downloading it from Garmin’s Connect IQ app store. The app selectively runs on Garmin’s Forerunner 245 Music, Forerunner 645 Music, Forerunner 945, fēnix 5 Plus series, vívoactive 3 Music or MARQ series device.

An Amazon Prime subscription gives Garmin customers access to two million tracks from Amazon Music. Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers get access to its full library of 50 million songs.

“As the first wearable company to offer Amazon Music, we are excited to collaborate with another key music provider to bring even more listening options to customers around the world,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales.

Amazon Music is just the latest music streaming service to be available on Garmin smartwatches. The iHeartRadio app was first to appear, followed by Deezer, and then Spotify. Apple Music, SoundCloud and Pandora have not yet created an app for it.

Table: Smartwatch Music Streaming Apps

Amazon MusicGarmin
Apple MusicApple Watch
DeezerAndroid Wear, Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin
iHeartRadioAndroid Wear, Garmin, Samsung
PandoraApple Watch, Fitbit (U.S. only)
SpotifyApple Watch, Garmin, Samsung, Wear OS
TidalSamsung

Music Streaming and Smartwatches a Win-Win

Between December 2017 and November 2018 sales of smartwatches went up 51 percent to nearly $5 billion, according to a report from NPD market research. The report said that 16 percent of U.S. adults own a smartwatch, up 33 percent from the previous year.

Apple Watch is the world’s dominant smartwatch, accounting for 54 percent of all smartwatches sold in Q1 2019. Samsung is ranked a distant second, with Garmin tracking at the lower top end.

NPD says Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit make up 88 percent of smartwatch unit sales. Traditional watch manufacturers, like Fossil, and fitness brands, like Garmin, are working to grow their share of the market.

For Amazon, the partnership helps get its music service on more devices. Amazon will need to continue to expand the reach of Amazon Music if it hopes to match the growth of Spotify and Apple Music.

For Garmin, the Amazon Music partnership gives it another leg up on Fitbit, which has yet to partner with Amazon, let alone Spotify.

Incidentally, Fitbit Ionic and Versa smartwatch users who want to add music to their Fitbit wearable must either download songs through Deezer or load them from their desktop computer.

What to Know: Wear OS by Google

  • A version of Google’s Android operating system designed for smartwatches and other wearables
  • Released devices include Motorola Moto 360, the LG G Watch, and the Samsung Gear Live. Hardware manufacturing partners include Asus, Broadcom, Fossil, HTC, Intel, LG, MediaTek, Imagination Technologies, Motorola, New Balance, Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei, Skagen, Polar, TAG Heuer and Mobvoi
  • Fossil, the biggest player by far in the Wear OS market, dropped from 3.2 percent market share in 2018 to 2.5 percent in Q1 of 2019