According to Billboard, ecommerce giant Amazon is currently in talks with major music labels to provide a free, ad-supported music streaming service. The service would offer a limited catalog of tunes and would be made available through Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, on the company’s Echo devices.
Sources say Amazon could unveil the free music streaming service before the end of April. Spotify is currently the only music streaming platform that markets a free-tier of service (other than internet radio services like Pandora or iHeartRadio).
Amazon currently provides two music streaming options: Prime Music via its $119-per-year Prime membership at no additional cost and the $9.99-per-month Amazon Music Unlimited, which provides a larger library of music and doesn’t require a Prime subscription. While Amazon doesn’t disclose the number of subscribers to its music services, reports say that the company has more than 20 million subscribers across all of its music-listening options.
The music streaming service market, much like its video equivalent, is currently booming. Universal Music Group, Warner, and Sony — the three biggest music labels — reportedly made a combined $6.93 billion in 2018 from music streaming services alone.
Spotify, the leading music streaming company worldwide, boasts nearly 100 million paying customers with another 115 million on the service’s free tier. Its closest competitor, Apple Music, has close to 60 million paid and trial-based subscribers. YouTube also accounts for a staggering amount of music streaming online with its ad-supported, on-demand video content.