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Amazon has launched a new version of Amazon Music. Unlike Amazon Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited, this version is entirely free for anyone who owns an Alexa-enabled device such as an Echo speaker. You’ll just have to put up with some ads.
Amazon Music Now Comes With a Side of Ads
Until now, if you wanted to stream music on your Amazon Echo you would need to pay for the privilege. Whether by subscribing to Amazon Prime (and gaining access to Prime Music), or subscribing to a streaming service such as Amazon Music Unlimited.
Now, however, Amazon has launched a free version of Amazon Music which doesn’t require any type of subscription. Instead, this new service will be paid for by ads, which will pop up between songs. How long they last and how often they pop up remains to be seen.
How to Listen to Amazon Music for Free
To listen to Amazon Music for free you’ll need to be in the U.S. and own an Alexa-enabled device. You’ll then gain access to the same catalog of content available on Prime Music. Essentially, the ads will pay the bills instead of a Prime membership.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to play any song you want. Instead, you can “play a station based on a song, artist, era, and genre” and/or listen to “some of Amazon Music’s top global playlists including Country Heat, Fuego Latino, and more”.
On The Amazon Blog, Amazon lists how to start listening to Amazon Music for free:
- To listen to a specific playlist say, “Alexa, play the playlist Pop Culture”.
- To listen to a station for an artist say, “Alexa, play the Imagine Dragons station”.
- To play a station based on a decade say, “Alexa, play 80s music”.
- To play a station based on a genre say, “Alexa, play country music”.
Amazon Music vs. YouTube Music
This is good news for Echo owners who aren’t currently subscribed to Amazon Prime or Amazon Music Unlimited. However, Amazon will want you to upgrade to one of the paid options, so prepare to be bombarded with ads for Amazon’s own subscription services.
It isn’t a coincidence that this free version of Amazon Music has arrived on the same day that Google launched a free version of YouTube Music for Google Home owners. With the Amazon move rumored for a while, it looks like Google rushed to beat Amazon to it.