Amazon Will Reportedly Launch an Ad-Supported Music Service

Posted on April 16, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Amazon, Apple, Music + Videos, Spotify, Smart Home with 6 Comments

Fewer Options For Those with Their Own Music

Billboard reports that Amazon plans to launch a free, ad-supported music streaming service similar to Spotify’s base offering.

“The world’s biggest e-retailer [hey, that’s my word] would market the free music service through its voice-activated Echo speakers, sources say, and would offer a limited catalog,” the publication reports. “It could become available as early as next week. To obtain licenses for the free music, Amazon has offered to initially pay some record labels per stream, regardless of how much advertising Amazon sells.”

Confused? You should be. Amazon already offers two different music services, and this third entry will confuse matters even further.

Today, Amazon offers something called Amazon Music, which is a perk of the Amazon Prime service and it, like the rumored new service, offers “a limited catalog” of songs. Amazon also sells a subscription music service with a more complete library that costs $10 per month, though Prime members pay just $8, and there’s a $4/month option for those who only listen on a single Echo smart speaker.

What’s missing from Amazon’s plans today is a way to mix and match your own music with music from the firm’s cloud library. That offering was killed off exactly a year ago and this new ad-supported service will obviously do nothing to change that.

Basically, it appears that the new ad-supported service will basically be Amazon Music, but for non-Prime subscribers, though Billboard doesn’t present it that way. And while Amazon has already seen great success in music just by leveraging Prime, its non-Prime service, Music Unlimited, has done quite well: In April 2018, the firm claimed that “tens of millions” of people paid for Amazon Music Unlimited and that its subscriber base had doubled in size in just six months. And this year, we learned that Amazon Music is the fastest-growing music subscription service.

The goal with the ad-supported service, of course, is to compete head-to-head with Spotify, the number one music subscription service. Spotify offers a free ad-supported version of its service as well as paid tiers with no ads. Apple Music is a paid-only service and is number two in the market.

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Comments (6)

6 responses to “Amazon Will Reportedly Launch an Ad-Supported Music Service”

  1. StoneJack

    It is end of Spotify

  2. rm

    If I can't play my MP3's I paid for, I have no use for the service.

    • jbinaz

      In reply to RM:

      You can play any MP3s you purchased from Amazon. If you have music that is not in the Amazon library, you can play it via their app (on Windows and Android, no idea about iOS), you just need to tell the app where to find it (on Windows), or put it in your folder (on Android). The biggest drawback I've found to that is you do have to manually manage the music not in their library by putting it on your devices, and you can't add non-cloud music to playlists. The former isn't too hard once you get it set up (although I only have two devices), but the latter is more bothersome to me, but not a deal-breaker.

  3. soundtweaker

    Great. Just what artists need. Another mega corp siphoning royalties out of artists pockets.

    • bluvg

      In reply to Soundtweaker:

      Lest anyone think these services aren't having a negative impact on artists and potential artists, the legendary Vinnie Colaiuta recently warned upcoming artists (https :// that those days of making a living playing are basically gone. Even for someone of his caliber, the session work has dwindled.

      Yes, there are other factors. But there are tons of people that would spend hundreds or thousands on albums. That's now available for a fraction of the price, and a good portion of that remaining fraction is going to Apple, Amazon, etc.

  4. jackson123


    Nice one ... thanks ... like your info ...