Amazon Opens Up Availability Of Free Music Streaming With Ads

The ad-supported version of Amazon’s music streaming service is now free to anyone who uses the Amazon Music app on iOS and Android devices, Fire TV and Amazon Music on the web, in the U.S., U.K. and Germany.

Previously, the ad-supported service was free only on Echo devices.

The free service offers the same 2-millon song catalog as Prime Music, but the latter is ad-free, and requires Prime membership.

Spotify’s stock price dropped by almost 5% immediately following  Amazon’s announcement on Monday, in part because it’s assumed that the expanded-access free service is intended to compete with Spotify’s free service, which has 140 million users.

However, Amazon’s free service, while offering popular playlists and access to thousands of radio stations, is limited compared to other services, including the ad-free Spotify and Apple Music services (which both charge $9.99 per month), and Amazon’s own premium services.

Amazon also offers Amazon Music Unlimited, with a catalog of some 50 million songs, at $7.99 for Prime members and $9.99 per month for non-members; and the new Amazon Music HD at $12.99 per month for Prime members and $14.99 for non-members.

Expansion of the free-with-ads Amazon service will expose more consumers to Amazon’s music, who can then be promoted to join Prime to get the ad-free Amazon Music free — or to upgrade to Amazon’s more premium music services.

In conjunction with the move, Amazon Music is offering a special promotion: a four-month free trial of its Unlimited service for $0.99.

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