Amazon has announced that Echo owners will be able to use part of Amazon Music for free. Amazon is now the third largest music streaming service in the world, right behind Spotify and Apple Music. Starting today, customers in the United States who own an Alexa device will have access to Amazon Music playlists and thousands of stations completely free. With the launch of its new ad-supported streaming service, Amazon is now a direct competitor to Spotify, which also offers a free ad-supported tier. As leaked, the free offering is limited to Alexa devices.
The free service, announced Thursday, will be available to customers with Alexa devices who don't subscribe to Amazon Prime, the loyalty program known mostly for shipping discounts. Optionally, Amazon Music Unlimited - Amazon's premium subscription service - grants access to a library of more than 50 million tracks. The free tier is ad-supported, as Billboard's report suggested earlier this week, but it allows anyone with an Echo to play music without paying a subscription fee (though, as you would expect, there are some restrictions).
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To use the new service, non-Prime customers can cue up a station based on a song, artist, era or genre, saying commands like, "Alexa, play '80s music" or "Alexa, play the playlist Pop Culture". However, customers can not directly play a specific track or an album, but simply playlists and curated stations.
Amazon Music's free tier is available to users in the US.