business news in context, analysis with attitude

Amazon this week announced that it is launching a new streaming music service that undercuts the competition on price, covers tens of millions of songs, and offers an alternative to the likes of Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music.

And, it is specifically keyed to its Echo/Alexa voice activated computer system.

Amazon Music Unlimited, the Seattle Times writes, will have three pricing tiers: "Prime members can get the service for $8 per month, or $79 a year. Those who don’t belong to Amazon’s growing flock of loyal Prime subscribers would have to pay $10 a month, about the same chief competitors charge. A third alternative is a $4 monthly subscription for use on a single Echo, the company’s popular voice-activated speaker."

The Seattle Times goes on: "At first sight, the service seems to be another sweetener by Amazon to its already perk-loaded Prime program, which for $99 a year also includes guaranteed two-day shipping, streaming video and a limited-catalog streaming music service. But it’s more than that.

"By applying to music streaming its savoir-faire in machine learning, recommendation tools and voice computing, Amazon is creating a formidable alternative to Spotify for the millions of households that have Echo devices.

"Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement that through Echo, the service would provide the curious with a 'sense of the future of voice-controlled music'."
KC's View:
The real advantage that Amazon seems to have in this arena is that it has so much infrastructure with which it can offer real products and services ... to people who already may have demonstrated an interest in them. It is the ultimate in targeted marketing, and a demonstration of Amazon's sweeping ambitions.