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Amazon Music Unlimited

Amazon has this week launched its rival streaming service, taking on Spotify and Apple Musicwith the not so quirkily titled ‘Amazon Music Unlimited’.

The subscription service is now available in the UK alongside Germany and Austria, following a US launch last month. In a bid to entice users to its echo device, it will cost just £3.99 a month if locked to an echo which is basically Amazon’s ‘smart’ speaker that you can bark instructions and questions at.

Existing Amazon Prime subscribers can pay £7.99 a month or £79 for a full year, with non-Prime members paying £9.99 a month- the same fee charged to Spotify and Apple Music customers.

All of which seems to align with Amazon’s strategy of undercutting the competition to increase market share, tying services to its other products and adding increasing value to the cost of an annual Prime Membership. This is £79 per year in the UK and includes Amazon video, prime delivery and a basic tier of the music service.

According to Music Business Worldwide, Amazon is subsidising the £7.99 cost for rights holders. Amazon has already revealed that Garth Brooks will be its first worldwide exclusive on the platform.

Appropriately titled Steve Boom, Vice President Amazon Music said: “We’ve been thrilled with customer reaction to the launch of Amazon Music Unlimited in the U.S. last month and we’re excited to quickly bring the service to customers in the UK. Starting today, Amazon Music Unlimited offers our UK customers playlists and stations curated by our music experts in the UK, featuring leading British and international artists – we think customers are going to love it”.

Speaking from his voice activated throne in the cloud, Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezosadded: “And if you want a sense of the future of voice-controlled music, go ahead and ask Alexa for a free Amazon Music Unlimited trial, and play around on your Echo. 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. Our U.S. customers love Amazon Music Unlimited on Echo, and we think our UK customers will too”.

Well, he would think that wouldn’t he? Amazon will need to deliver on personalised playlists and customisation and are slightly on the back foot in this regard, with long-term Spotify users arguably unlikely to migrate.

Or is the intent to lure more casual listeners in through the Prime / Echo deal and attempt to hit that mid-price streaming sweet spot? Will a slightly creepy talking speaker be a deal breaker for many people?

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