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Apple Music faces fresh competition from Amazon’s new free option

20 April 2019

This includes around two million tracks.

Amazon Music is the company's own music streaming service; Prime members get access to the content, though there are some limitations unless they upgrade to Unlimited.

The e-commerce giant is now offering a free, ad-supported streaming plan that lets users play music for free on their Echo device. The smart speakers will let listeners request songs using their voice. You simply ask for something like "play 80s music" and it will find a matching station.

Amazon today announced that its Alexa customers now have access to a free, ad-supported version of Amazon Music. The free tier is ad-supported, as Billboard's report suggested earlier this week, but it allows anyone with an Echo to play music without paying a subscription fee (though, as you would expect, there are some restrictions).

Online streaming services such Spotify and Apple Music have become the music industry's single biggest revenue source, overtaking physical sales and digital downloads for the first time. Of course, ads will be interspersed throughout the tracks, like in the free tiers of other music services like Spotify and Pandora.

Last year, subscription-based streaming revenue accounted for 38 percent of all recorded music, up from 29 percent the year before, IFPI said. Spotify has grown to more than 170m active users and has used its free app to entice consumers to pay for its paid-for Spotify Premium service.

Apple Music faces fresh competition from Amazon’s new free option