Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Ad-Supported Amazon Music Streaming?

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Over the weekend Mashable reported about Amazon’s plan to launch a free ad-supported tier within its Prime Music service.  The strategy, as described by label partners, is for Amazon to “offer a limited catalog of songs which would be made available through Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, on the company’s Echo devices.”

Right now Amazon offers music streaming within its $119/yr Prime bundle.  Listeners can also purchase a standalone Amazon Music Unlimited subscription for $10/mo.  Both of these tiers are ad free, so this new plan would be Amazon’s first attempt as a streaming ad platform.

Amazon’s new tier could eventually become a competitive threat to Pandora whose business model is primarily free ad-supported, and Spotify who’s been running tiers on both sides of the paywall for years.  Spotify is already under intense pressure from Apple Music, who just passed them in total US subscribers, so they must be feeling the heat on both ends right now.

It’s not 100% clear when Amazon will green light an ad-supported tier or if they’ll even do it at all.  I’ll definitely keep an eye on this one for you,

 

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