Amazon May Launch Free Music Streaming Service

Alexa is ready to challenge Spotify and Pandora

Amazon music
Amazon in talks to launch new music streaming service.
(Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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Does Amazon want to be the new Spotify?

The world’s biggest e-retailer is reportedly in talks to take over the free music streaming world, according to Billboard. A source told the outlet Amazon has entered into discussions to launch a free, ad-driven music service to compete with global streaming leaders Spotify, Pandora and YouTube.

The new service would be available only through Alexa, and would offer a limited catalogue accessible via Amazon’s voice-activated Echo speakers.

In order to secure licenses for the free music, Amazon has offered to pay some record labels per stream, highlighting the brand’s power as a distributor that can afford to discount music, Billboard reported.

Currently, Amazon offers a limited Prime Music service as part of Prime subscriptions, which cost $119 and include additional perks like free shipping. Amazon also offers an unlimited music subscription for $9.99 per month, available at a discounted rate of $7.99 per month for Prime subscribers.

The new free, ad-driven music service would enter as a strong competitor to Spotify, which is currently the leading streaming service with a free tier. The subscription-dependent service counts its free tier as key in attracting in new paying subscribers. Spotify boasts 96 million paying subscribers and 116 million free users.

Other competing streaming services include Apple Music, which has 56 million paying subscribers with no free offering, as well as YouTube, whose ad-driven platform is reportedly “less interested in converting free users into paid customers.”

Amazon’s new free streaming service may be available as early as next week, Billboard reported.

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