Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Amazon Music Expands Free Listening Tier

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You may remember back in July Amazon quietly began testing audio ads across its Echo devices for listeners who didn’t have a Prime or Unlimited Music subscription.  During the beta brands gave Amazon :15 or :30 pieces of audio creative to run, and in return received a guaranteed million ad impressions for free.

Now a free version of Amazon Music playlists and online stations can be accessed via iPhone and other iOS devices, Android devices and Fire TV.  According to the company, “Amazon Music customers who do not yet have a Prime membership, or a subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited, can now listen to an ad-supported selection of top playlists and thousands of stations for free on their favorite devices.”  This expansion of a subscription-less Amazon Music will lead to an increase of addressable scale for Amazon to ramp up its audio ad sales biz.

While Amazon still has a long ways to go before it becomes a direct threat to other digital audio streamers’ monetization engines, the industry is taking notice.  Yesterday after this announcement Spotify’s stock dropped 5% . . . so somebody must be nervous about this.

 

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