Amazon has finally announced a free, ad-supported version of its music streaming service Amazon Music, expanding it to Android and iOS, as expected. With the move, Amazon is taking on rival Spotify that has almost 14 crores users on its freemium version. A paid membership of Amazon Prime Music is bundled with the company's Prime subscription. Other than that, Amazon also offers paid plans for its music service, starting at $9.99 per month.
To recall, Amazon launched a freemium version of its music service for Alexa users on Echo devices in September. Amazon wants to compete with Spotify's freemium version Spotify's freemium model includes a free ad-supported version along with a paid ad-free version at $9.99 per month. Up until now, Amazon offered its music streaming services to only valid, premium subscribers.
Meanwhile, Apple Music offers only paid subscription service for $9.99 per month. According to Counterpoint Research report, Apple Music accounts for nearly a fifth of the paid music streaming market. Following the announcement, Spotify shares fell about 5 per cent while Amazon shares were up nearly 0.5 per cent.
Freemium version of Amazon Prime Music service is available for customers in the US, UK and Germany.
"Amazon Music customers who do not yet have a Prime membership or a subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited, can now listen to an ad-supported selection of top playlists and thousands of stations for free on their favourite devices. Previously only available to customers on Echo devices, today’s news expands access to customers using the Amazon Music app on iOS, Android, and FireTV. Customers can also listen to this music on the web," Amazon said in its blog post.
In India, Amazon Music streaming service is part of Amazon Prime subscription, which costs Rs 129 for a month or Rs 999 for a year. Meaning, Amazon Music service is only limited to Prime subscriber and right now, Amazon Music is not based on a freemium business model in India. As a result, there is no free version of Amazon Prime Music available in India.
In September, Amazon also announced the availability of Apple Music playback for Amazon Alexa devices in India. If you own an Amazon Echo device including an Echo Dot, Echo Show 5, Echo, Echo Spot, Echo Plus, Echo Show and Echo Input, as well as third-party Alexa-powered speakers, you can access Apple Music via simple voice commands with Alexa.
(With Reuters inputs)