According to an exclusive report from Billboard, Amazon is due to launch a new free tier to its current music streaming service.
The report claims that Amazon has entered into discussions with a number of record labels and is said to be offering to pay royalties on a per-stream basis, regardless of how much advertising revenue is made on that particular stream session.
As you’d expect this free tier would sit below the current lowest option which costs £3.99 per month and enables you to stream via a single Echo speaker. From the sounds of it, this free tier will also only be available on Echo speakers, and will come with a smaller library of music. Essentially making it a stripped back, ad-based version of the single device option.
As it stands, Spotify is currently the only big-name music streaming provider to offer an ad-supported free tier. The other big players, like Apple and Google, offer limited time free trials which then turn into full premium accounts at around £10 per month.
By adding a free tier to its lineup, it’ll see Amazon offering the largest choice of plan tiers. In the UK, it already offers the aforementioned single device plan, as well as individual, student and family plans.
It’s clear then that, just like its hardware efforts, it wants to offer something for everyone. But with Amazon’s music service not having the mindshare owned by Spotify, or being automatically installed on millions of smartphones like Apple Music, it’s facing an uphill battle.
On the plus side, for those buying Echo speakers, this does make it incredibly convenient to start listening to music without having to log in or activate third-party skills. And it won’t cost anything either.
Billboard claims this new plan could arrive as soon as next week. We’ll keep you updated if anything more official turns up.