SAN FRANCISCO, CA (CelebrityAccess) — Amazon opened a new front in their battle with Spotify on Thursday with the launch of an ad-supported option for their Amazon Music streaming service.
Amazon announced that beginning today, customers in the U.S. who do not yet have a Prime membership or a subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited will now be able to listen to ad-supported music streamed via Alexa-compatible devices.
Until today, Echo owners who wanted to stream music from Amazon either had to have a membership to Amazon Prime, or a $3.99 streaming subscription. The subscription price rose to $9.99 for streaming to a non-echo device such as a mobile phone or desktop.
However, Amazon’s freemium plan does not include does not appear to provide access to the streaming service’s full library and instead, Amazon says the service offers a selection of their most popular playlists and stations, including Country Heat, and Fuego Latino.
The service includes Alexa’s voice commands and users can request music by artist, playlist or genre, Amazon said.
The addition of an ad-supported option lines Amazon to compete against rivals Spotify and Pandora, which both have similar options. Apple Music remains the only major streaming service in the U.S. that relies entirely on a paid subscription business model.