Amazon today announced it’s offering a new ad-supported music service for all Echo owners in the U.S. This means you do not need to be an Amazon Prime member or subscribe to the company’s Prime Music Unlimited service to stream music on your Alexa-enabled device. Here is a look at what you can expect from this new service.
Free Streaming Music on Your Echo
The new free streaming service will allow you to listen to top streaming playlists and stations for free on Alexa devices. The company is aiming to get into the free steaming market and compete with companies like Spotify. With Amazon’s new service you have access to play a station based on a song, artists, or genre. The service is a stream, so you can’t play music on-demand. However, you will have access to over 2 million songs which is from the same catalog as Prime members. But, there will be ad-breaks during the stream in between songs; which is the same model for free users of Spotify or Pandora.
Alexa Commands for Free Music streaming
To get started with the new services there is nothing you need to do on your end. The company began rolling out the feature today. You might want to power cycle your Echo to force the update, though. Amazon notes the following examples of commands you can give to Alexa:
- “Alexa, play the playlist Pop Culture” to hear the ultimate global playlist for today’s pop music.
- “Alexa, play the Imagine Dragons station” to hear a station inspired by the popular rock band.
- “Alexa, play 80s music” to hear a station filled with music from the era.
- “Alexa, play country music” to hear a station with some of the best in the genre.
Remember, this is currently only available to Echo owners in the U.S. and it isn’t as robust as Prime members or subscribers to Amazon Music Unlimited. For example, Amazon Prime members can start playing a specific band or artist on-demand without ads. And with an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription, you get more features and a much larger catalog of over 50 million songs with artists to choose from.
Also, keep in mind that if you have another service like Apple Music or Spotify set as your default, you will need to change that in the app. For more on that, check out how to set Alexa’s default streaming music.
Another interesting part of this story is Google today also announced it is offering free ad-supported YouTube Music streams via its Google Home speakers. Both companies are competing to get their smart speaker into your home by adding more and more features.