Amazon tipped to launch free, ad-supported music streaming tier

Amazon tipped to launch free, ad-supported music streaming tier

But unlike Spotify, the Seattle-based tech giant can afford to lose money in the music streaming business in the short run to play the long game and attract free users that can be converted into paying subscribers.

Amazon is in discussions to launch a free music streaming service, with Amazon monetising this offering through the implementation of ads, Billboard reports.

Amazon is busy negotiating terms and conditions with several music labels to bring the ad-supported free service and expand its portfolio.

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Starting soon enough, another service tier could be added to this already robust lineup, directly targeting Spotify's popular free option. Prime Music comes with a Prime subscription, but there's also a $9.99/month Amazon Music Unlimited offering that can be purchased separately.

Billboard, citing sources familiar with the plan, said Amazon would market the service through its Echo speakers and offer a limited catalog. 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. The report claims this free service may launch next week. Both Spotify and Pandora give users access to free content, though the latter comes in the form of "radio" that greatly limits the experience. Right out of the box users would be able to start playing music without making any payments or signing up for another service.

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