Amazon is reportedly looking to launch a free, ad-supported music streaming service. This comes according to a Billboard report. The free service would be heavily marketed through its echo devices, which gives Amazon a built in hardware advantage of being already installed in millions of homes.
Currently, Amazon has a few different price points for its paid streaming services. Amazon Music Unlimited costs $9.99 per month, $7.99 for Prime members and only $3.99 if it used only used through an Echo device.
The ad-supported streaming service would come with a limited catalog and could arrive as early as this week. It shows just how powerful Amazon is and goes back to its tactics of taking a loss to undermine potential business competitors and gain market share.
As of now in the US, Spotify is the only one of the major music on-demand streaming service to offer a free tier compared to the likes of Apple Music, Tidal and Amazon. YouTube is larger than just a music streaming service, though it is free. Industry power players dislike the free version because payouts are so low.
Amazon has a large market share to leverage for this potential service. The echo reportedly made up 67% of US smart speaker sales in 2018 and 70% of overall installed smart speakers. If it can use those devices to then get users hooked on the free Amazon streaming service and then switched to the paying streaming service, Amazon may become an even larger player in the market.