Amazon tipped to launch a free, ad-supported music service to take on Spotify

Amazon Echo Dot
Image credit: Amazon

The music streaming wars aren't offer yet, with Amazon reportedly in talks with the big labels about offering an free, ad-supported service to take on Spotify – and it might be launching as early as next week.

That's according to sources speaking to Billboard. Apparently the new service will offer a limited selection of songs but wouldn't cost users anything – a bit like the free tier that Spotify offers.

The new service sounds a lot like Amazon Prime Music, the music selection you get as part of a Prime subscription – only in this case you'd have to listen to ads instead of signing up for Amazon Prime.

Amazon Prime Music offers access to around 2 million tracks, and there's also an Amazon Music Unlimited service, a more direct Spotify competitor – it has tens of millions of songs in its catalog and costs an additional monthly fee.

Is there an Echo in here?

It's easy to see where the new service would slot in – on Amazon Echo devices. Right out of the box users would be able to start playing music without making any payments or signing up for another service.

You've currently got a whole host of ways to play music through an Echo, including connecting a phone via Bluetooth or adding Apple Music or Spotify through the Alexa app on your phone.

This new service, if it actually appears, would in theory be more convenient than those options – at least for the casual music listener who only wants to hear a couple of the latest hits every now and again.

If Billboard is right and the service does launch next week, Spotify will no longer be the only music streaming service offering a free, ad-supported tier.

Via Engadget

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.