Amazon expands free music streaming service to Apple, Android devices

Watch out Spotify: Amazon Music has widened the net of its ‘free’ music streaming platform.

Amazon Music customers without a Prime membership or a subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited (AMU) can now listen to an ad-supported selection of playlists – and thousands of radio-esque ‘stations’ – for free via the Amazon Music app on iOS, Android, and FireTV, or via their browser.

Access for non-Prime/AMU customers to the ad-supported, cost-free tier of Amazon’s music offering has previously been limited to Amazon Echo devices.

Now, non-Echo owners in the US, UK, and Germany can access playlists and ‘stations’ based on any song, artist, era, and genre.

Interestingly, Amazon’s expansion of its free tier comes alongside an aggressive price promotion at the company – offering new customers four months of its premium, on-demand service, Amazon Music Unlimited, for just $0.99 / £0.99.

Sure enough, if you log on to Amazon’s newly-expanded free tier today and attempt to play a specific track (rather than a playlist or ‘station’), Amazon gently reminds you that you don’t have an AMU account… but can get one for this tempting trial price (see picture, main).

Amazon’s streaming music menu currently includes five price tiers for those looking to play their favourite tracks:

  • Users of Alexa-enabled devices – and, now, other devices too – can access an ad-supported music service, offering radio ‘stations’ or Amazon Music playlists for free;
  • Those who are already Prime members ($119 per year in the US) can also access a limited on-demand catalog of over 2 million songs via Prime Music;
  • Those who own an Echo speaker can subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited (50m-plus songs, all on-demand) for just $3.99 per month via an ‘Echo Plan’, but their account will be locked to their speaker;
  • A full Amazon Music Unlimited subscription – available on multiple devices, and a direct rival to Apple Music or Spotify Premium – costs $9.99 per month, or $7.99 for existing Prime members. A Family Plan for up to six users costs $14.99 per month;
  • And a subscription to Amazon Music HD now costs $14.99 a month, or $12.99 a month for Prime members. An HD Family Plan costs $19.99 per month.

Music Business Worldwide

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