Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Amazon's Echo, the Latest Music Streaming Service to Launch

Written by Nathan Ingraham — And the company's full-fledged Spotify competitor is rumored to launch in early 2017.

Amazon has offered a very basic streaming music service for a few years now, but it looks like the company is nearly ready to significantly revamp its offerings. An Echo-only streaming music option may be coming in the next few weeks, claims a report from The Verge -- and a full-fledged Spotify competitor that isn't tied to the Echo might be available in early 2017. The Echo-only service would cost $5 a month, while the more expensive $10 per month option would work across any device.

A second report today from AFTVnews contains info showing the service may be known as Amazon Music Unlimited, a boring but logical name. The publication found an Amazon Music Unlimited banner and ad inside the Amazon music app on the Fire TV.

Amazon's new music offerings have been rumored for a while now -- in June, it was first reported that the company was working on its full-fledged competitor to Spotify and Apple Music, coming in at the same $10 per month price point as most other services. Then, in August, the first rumor of an Echo-only service popped up. It seems Amazon originally wanted both services to launch simultaneously, but -- as is often the case -- it sounds like talks with the music labels is slowing things down.

Amazon has found success with its streaming video service which is bundled into Amazon Prime (like its current music service) , but getting a foothold in the increasingly competitive and cutthroat music landscape is far from a done deal. Android and iOS smartphones both offer a built-in streaming music service, and Spotify of course works on just about any device out there. What Amazon will offer here to stand out remains to be seen, but more competition is rarely a bad thing.

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