After anchoring its music streaming service to its own smart speaker platform since its inception, Amazon has opened up its Amazon Music free tier to third party mobile platforms.It’s a move that is sure to be seen as strengthening Amazon Music’s competitiveness directly against Spotify, who has offered a free entry level tier to its service for years.
Available now to music fans in the UK, US, Austria and Germany who do not have an Amazon Prime membership or a subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited, the service can be accessed via the Amazon Music app on Android and iOS mobile devices as well as through Fire TV devices and online through a web browser at music.amazon.co.uk.
Like Spotify, Amazon’s free tier is ad-supported, so in between songs listeners will have to wait a few moments for the commercials to play before the next track cues up. Other limitations are also in line with those found on Spotify Free in that listeners cannot pick specific songs they wish to hear from an artist, rather they will have the option of listening to an artist or genre specific ‘radio’ station or playlist from among the thousands that are available. The choice of tracks is around 2 million which is smaller than the 40 odd million available with Spotify’s free service. There’s also no option to download tracks, which is also in line with Spotify’s free tier.
Amazon has recently been repositioning itself in the music streaming sector and, as well as rolling out this free tier to non Echo smart speaker users, it has augmented its music services with the launch of Amazon Music HD which delivers lossless CD-quality and Hi-Res music akin to that found on TIDAL, Qobuz and Deezer but at a lower monthly cost if you are already subscribed to the Prime service.
Estimates of Amazon’s music subscriber-base are not widely available but are believed to be around 32 million, based on a Financial Times report. This puts it some way behind the 140 million users of Spotify’s free service.
Will AVForums music fans be signing up to Amazon Music’s free services on their mobile services? If you do, let us know in the discussion thread how you got on and what the experience is like.
Source: www.variety.com, www.hiphopmagz.com
Image Source: Musicweek.com
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