According to an anonymous source “close to the situation” speaking with The Verge, Amazon is readying not one, but two music streaming services. The company will allegedly offer an on-demand streaming service for $10 (£10, AU$12) per month, similar to Apple Music, Google Play Music and Spotify. But there will also be a cheaper $5 (about £5, AU$6) per month streaming service for Echo owners, confirming previous rumors.
Both subscriptions will allow access to Amazon’s library of millions of songs, but the cheaper Echo-only subscription will restrict playback to Amazon’s Echo products. With the more expensive $10 per month subscription, users will be able to stream from whatever device they want.
The $5 per month Echo-only subscription may be worth it for those with a ton of Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Tap speakers in the home. But not being able to stream while in the car or on your phone is a major drawback.
The Echo-only subscription will allegedly launch within the next few weeks, but the more expensive device-agnostic service may not come until the beginning of next year according to one of The Verge’s sources, though a holiday launch may still be possible.
Note that Amazon Prime members will still have to shell out for the new subscription service, as it won’t be bundled with the $99 per year Prime subscription. By offering a separate subscription service, non-Amazon Prime customers will have a lower cost of entry. Amazon pulled a similar move by offering its Amazon Prime Instant Video service for $11 per month, which can be purchased independent from a Prime subscription.
Time will only tell if customers will leave their current music streaming services for Amazon’s. Apple Music has had success offering exclusive albums like Frank Ocean’s Blonde and Drake’s Views, and it’ll be interesting to see if Amazon can lock down some exclusives of its own.