Amazon takes on Spotify with new ad-supported music streaming service

Amazon takes on Spotify with new ad-supported music streaming service for Echo devices

  • Owners of Echo devices can now get access to free music with advertisements
  • It includes more than two million songs, similar to Amazon’s Prime Music service
  • Likely compete with Spotify’s free subscription plan, which also has brief ads 

Amazon is launching a new music service that’s likely to compete with Spotify. 

The e-commerce giant is now offering a free, ad-supported streaming plan that lets users play music for free on their Echo device. 

Users can access more than two million songs by talking to their Alexa-enabled smart speaker. 

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Amazon is launching a new music service that’s likely to compete with Spotify. The firm now offers a free, ad-supported streaming plan that lets users play music for free on Echo devices

It marks the third music streaming service launched by Amazon. 

Previously, Prime subscribers could access Prime Music songs for free and with intermittent ads for the cost of an annual subscription. 

They could also pay $3.99 per month to stream songs through Amazon Music Unlimited to get the service on one Echo device, or $10 per month for the ability to stream on non-Echo devices.

As of yesterday, users can now ask Alexa to play an artist, song, playlist or genre and their Echo device will answer their request, albeit with a few ads in between each song. 

‘Since the launch of Amazon Music, customers have been able to use the simplicity and magic of voice to request music in fun, innovative ways,’ Amazon wrote in a blog post. 

‘Interacting with music through voice is transforming how people engage with music – searching for a favorite station, or music by era or genre, is easier and more popular than ever before. 

‘And so, beginning today, customers in the U.S. who do not yet have a Prime membership or a subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited will now be able to listen to an ad-supported selection of top playlists and stations for free with Amazon Music on compatible Alexa-enabled devices,’ the firm added.  

The service also provides access to ‘top global playlists’ created by Amazon, such as ‘Country Heat,’ ‘Fuego Latino,’ ‘Pop Culture’ and others. 

It comes as Spotify has rolled out more features for free users in recent months, while Apple Music has yet to introduce a free tier for its service. 

WHAT ARE THE TOP MUSIC STREAMING SERVICES?

Online streaming services such Spotify and Apple Music have become the music industry’s single biggest revenue source, overtaking physical sales and digital downloads for the first time.  

The rapid growth in streaming music services in recent years has led to a recovery in the fortunes of the global recorded music industry, which enjoyed its third year of positive revenue growth, according to a report by industry trade group IFPI. 

Online streaming services such Spotify and Apple Music have become the music industry’s single biggest revenue source

Last year, subscription-based streaming revenue accounted for 38 percent of all recorded music, up from 29 percent the year before, IFPI said. 

Industry leaders say that the rise of music streaming is enabling the market to reach new regions of the world, while helping weaning a generation of music fans away from free or pirated music.

Latin America and China saw the biggest market growth, with a rise in overall music revenue of 17.7 percent and 35.3 percent respectively.   

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