Amazon Offers Free Music Streaming

Amazon Offers Free Music Streaming
A new ad-supported music streaming service from Amazon is now available to Echo-owners in the U.S.

(CCM) — Owners of Amazon's Echo products or other devices which include its Alexa intelligent assistant can now use them to stream music from Amazon for free.

Previously it was necessary to pay for an Amazon Prime or Amazon Music Unlimited subscription to use the company's music streaming service, but now it has introduced a free service which is supported by advertising, Phone Arena is reporting.

The free service, which is currently only available in the U.S., does not allow users to request specific songs. Instead it enables them to access playlists or "stations" based on a song, artist, genre, or era, using commands such as "Alexa, play 80s music,” “Alexa, play the playlist Pop Culture," "Alexa, play country music," or "Alexa, play the Imagine Dragons station."

By introducing a limited ad-supported streaming service of this kind, Amazon will be hoping to introduce more Alexa-users to music streaming with the potential to upsell them to it more fully featured Unlimited service which offers on-demand access to 50 million songs for a monthly $7.99 subscription.

Rival music streaming service Spotify has offered a free ad-supported tier since its launch in 2008, but charges $2 more than Amazon for its full service. Shares in Spotify dipped on news of the announcement of Amazon's free service, which is likely to bite into Spotify's advertising revenues.

Image: © Eric Broder Van Dyke -