Amazon has launched a new free music streaming tier aimed at Alexa users. The US customers of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant will now have access to top playlists on Amazon Music and thousands of radio stations at no additional cost. The new feature offers limited access and is available only through Alexa and when a user requests a song, Alexa will lead to an Amazon playlist or station instead of taking them to an album. The new free tier could be the Amazon testing new feature ahead of releasing a full-fledged music streaming service with ads that will challenge Spotify’s business model in the music streaming market.
“Beginning today, customers in the US 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,” Amazon said in a statement. “Customers now have access to play a station based on a song, artist, era, and genre, and to hear some of Amazon Music’s top global playlists including Country Heat, Fuego Latino, and more.”
Amazon is trying to expand its presence in the streaming music, which is currently lead by Apple Music and Spotify in the US market. With the new service, Amazon wants to become a bigger player in a space that still has a lot of room for growth. Spotify, which was the undisputed leader has lost to Apple Music, which now commands more paid subscribers in the US than Spotify. But, Spotify has more than 100 million users who subscribe to its free tier and Amazon is aiming for those very users.
Watch: Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro First Look
The streaming music market is a fledgling one where customers are always looking for new ways to explore and listen to music. Spotify has lead within its paid+free tier while Apple has shown the way forward for a paid-only subscription. Amazon, which has a paid music service available as part of its Prime subscription, is now entering an area of free service offered by Spotify. It needs to be seen whether it succeeds in getting more users to say, “Alexa, play music from Amazon” instead of Spotify.