Amazon Music is now free with ads for Alexa device owners

Andrew Burton  Bloomberg

Credit Andrew Burton Bloomberg

The news comes alongside YouTube Music's free ad-supported arrival on Google Home speakers.

Amazon Music is the company's own music streaming service; Prime members get access to the content, though there are some limitations unless they upgrade to Unlimited. While Spotify's free tier offers a large catalogue of music, Amazon offers a much larger ecosystem to its customers via its smart speakers, shopping platform, and more.

This means you can go ahead and set YouTube Music as the default music streaming provider and then tell Google Assistant to play songs from it. But if you're interested in trying out Amazon Music to decide if you want to subscribe, here's how to do that. The new, free service doesn't require an Amazon Prime subscription and can be used to access playlists or start new stations by saying "Hey, Alexa", and then a music genre or artist name. You can't ask for specific albums or songs on either Amazon Music or YouTube Music's free offering. Users will get free access to playlists and other content, but the service will be supported with advertisements.

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It is clear that this move from Google and Amazon is clearly focused on taking advantage of their voice assistant powered devices to capture a bigger pie of the music streaming market.

The rapid growth in streaming music services in recent years has led to a recovery in the fortunes of the global recorded music industry, which enjoyed its third year of positive revenue growth, according to a report by industry trade group IFPI.

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