Echo users will now have access to Amazon Music for free
e-Commerce giant Amazon (AMZN) announced last week that it had launched a free, ad-based tier of Amazon Music in the United States, which will be available for all Echo users who don’t have Amazon Prime accounts.
However, free-tier users will have access to only two million songs—the same access an Amazon Prime membership offers.
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Previously, users needed either a Prime membership, which costs $119 annually but is bundled with several other benefits to subscribers, or the $3.99-per-month Amazon Music Unlimited, which has a catalog of over 50 million songs.
Amazon will now be able to monetize its huge Echo installed base in the United States
The music streaming market has become fiercely competitive, with Spotify and Apple Music leading in the space. However, Echo users who weren’t already Prime users now have access to Amazon’s offering instead of third-party services, such as Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music.
Smart speakers now have a formidable installed base of 66 million in the United States. A total of 70% of those smart speakers are Amazon Echos, with several users owning multiple Echos. The ad-based tier will now help Amazon monetize its ever-increasing US installed base, adding another avenue to its fast-growing ad business.
On the heels of this news, Google (GOOG) also announced that YouTube Music would be free for Google Home owners.