Amazon launches free music streaming to juice Alexa-device sales


An Amazon.com Inc Echo smart speaker sits on display inside an Amazon 4-star store in Berkeley, California. — Bloomberg

An Amazon.com Inc Echo smart speaker sits on display inside an Amazon 4-star store in Berkeley, California. — Bloomberg

Amazon.com Inc is hoping an ad-supported music-streaming service will help it sell more speakers and other devices that work with its voice-activated Alexa platform. 

The free service, announced April 18, will be available to customers with Alexa devices who don’t subscribe to Amazon Prime, the loyalty programme known mostly for shipping discounts. Prime members already have access to a limited music-streaming service and can purchase a more robust option for an additional fee. 

The new service will feature general-interest playlists like “Pop Culture”, 80s music and country, Amazon said in a statement. It will compete with existing free services from Spotify Technology and Sirius XM-owned Pandora. 

Google announced a similar service on April 18. Owners of Google Home speakers can sign up for a free, ad-supported version of the YouTube Music streaming product. Users can request playlists and stations to stream different types of music to suit different moods and situations. – Bloomberg