Free Music Services: Amazon and Google Join Spotify

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The world’s biggest streaming service has run into some trouble. Spotify saw their stock prices take a hit among rumors Amazon would offer free music services to their offerings. The actual announcement was somewhat of a disappointment, however, considering the fact that Amazon’s free music must be accessed through its Alexa devices specifically. It was hardly the brazen roll-out expected.

Free Music Services are Unlimited on Amazon’s Echo Devices

Users will be able to play the music using only their voices, though they cannot play specific songs. They will only be able to play songs according to artist and playlist. This latest push is a threat to not only Spotify but also Facebook.

The addition of free music speaks not only to Amazon’s growing ambitions as a music streaming service, but also their growth ambitions in advertising. The free music option through Echo will include advertisements. This is because its free music is sponsored. Amazon has recently made efforts to increase its advertising income.

In only two years Amazon has gone from pulling in 2.9 billion to raking in $10.1 billion through advertising. Their free music offer is considered to be a clever method of boosting both Amazon’s income from advertising and sales of its Echo devices.

Google’s Free Music Services and YouTube

On the other hand, Google raked in $32.6 billion in advertising last year. They also plan to benefit from advertising revenue through their offer of free music. Google’s free music offer is tied to its Google Home devices and other speakers. This includes those lines of speakers that include Google Assistant. This means speakers made by Sony and more brands will qualify.

They’re including a free version of YouTube Music through their speakers, but it also includes advertisements. Users will only be able to search and play by genre, however. Prior to the announcements, Spotify was the only big streaming service offering a free service. It was an integral part of their business, though it has faced considerable criticism, in part because it drives down the number of pay artists receive from streams of their music.

Still, Google and Amazon will not offer a robust catalog offered by Spotify. Both Google and Amazon’s services will only feature limited catalogs. While it’s thought the offers won’t take away too much from Spotify’s fairly loyal customer base, they are likely to dip into some of the advertising income Spotify currently enjoys.