The music streaming services segment is a competitive one, with key players such as Spotify and Apple Music dominating the space. Amazon too has a presence in the segment through its streaming services, known as Amazon Prime Music in India. However, a new report suggests that Amazon could introduce a new free and ad-supported service, which would compete against Spotify's free tier. The service could be marketed as a ready-to-use streaming platform for Amazon's Echo line of smart speakers.
A report by Billboard suggests that the new streaming service will be launched soon, and will have a limited catalogue of music. The service will largely be marketed through the Echo line of speakers, and will give buyers of the Echo series a value-addition and the ability to stream music on the speaker without having to first sign-up and pay for a service.
Smart speakers such as the Echo Plus and new Amazon Echo Show can also be used with Amazon Prime Music subscriptions. In India, music streaming is part of the Amazon Prime subscription service which also offers shopping benefits and Amazon Prime Video for Rs. 129 per month or Rs. 999 per year. In the US, the company has various pricing tiers for its music streaming service, starting at $3.99 per month for those listening only on Echo devices.
A free streaming service from Amazon would still rely on licensing from music labels, but Amazon could offset the cost of this by rationalising it against an increase in retail sales for its Echo hardware. The ad-supported service would pay labels per stream regardless of how many ads run alongside the music, according to the report.