Amazon just blew the music streaming battle wide open by allowing anyone, whether they have a Prime membership or not and regardless what device they’re using, to listen to Amazon Music for free.
Until today, there were three options when subscribing to Amazon Music. You could either get a limited catalogue of ad-free songs through Prime Music, a feature of Prime memberships; you could listen to the catalogue on Amazon Echo devices, or you could upgrade for a full, premium ad-free Amazon Music Unlimited subscription for £7.99 a month if you’re a Prime member, or £9.99 a month if you’re not.
Now, as announced in a blog post, anyone can listen to an ad-supported catalogue of playlists and stations for free via the Amazon Music app on iOS, Android, and FireTV. Customers can also listen to this music on the web, in the same way the Spotify Web Player works.
Start listening to Amazon Music for free
This update has rolled out to customers in the US, UK, and Germany.
Unlike Spotify’s free tier, however, it’s not possible to create playlists or listen on-demand from laptops and desktops. By commparison, Apple Music doesn’t offer any free tiers beyond its free trial.
Following the news, shares in Spotify fell a little under 5%.
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The timing of the announcement coincides with the company gearing up for eight days of sales as part of its Black Friday and Cyber Monday event. By getting more people signed up to one service, it makes it easier for Amazon to encourage them to upgrade while also offering its other products and services, such as its Echo range of speakers, its Prime memberships and its tablets.