Amazon Launches New Streaming Music Service

Amazon.com Inc. Wednesday launched its new music streaming service with pricing options for its prime members and Echo owners, a move to take on Industry leaders Spotify Ltd. And Apple Inc.

The new streaming service, called “Amazon Music Unlimited”, will be available to general public for $9.99 a month, the same price as Spotify Premium and Apple Music. However, Amazon Prime members get the discount to pay $7.99, or $79 a year, while customers using the Echo speakers will pay just $3.99 a month.

Amazon Echo, introduced two years ago, is a smart speaker developed by the retail giant. Users can ask Echo’s robotic assistant Alexa to play music without knowing the names.

“If you don’t know the name of a song but know a few lyrics, if you want to hear songs from a specific decade, or even if you’re looking for music to match your mood, just ask,” CEO Jeff Bezos said.

Amazon’s biggest rivals in streaming music business is Apple and Spotify. Spotify has more than 40 million paying subscribers world-wide, and Apple Music has at least 17 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“The first phase of growth (in music streaming) was driven almost entirely by smartphones,” Vice president of Amazon Music Steve Boom said in an interview. “We believe pretty strongly that the next phase of growth in streaming is going to come from the home.”

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