"Aren't there already enough music streaming services?" you ask. Apparently, Amazon doesn't think so. Following several months of rumors, the company announced Wednesday morning that it would be launching its own streaming service called Amazon Music Unlimited, as reported by the Associated Press.
Anyone can sign up for $10 per month, much like Spotify or Apple Music. The main difference comes through its integration into Amazon's pre-existing business model. Amazon Prime members, who pay $99 for free shipping and other perks, can add an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription for only $8 per month. Prime membership already comes with a limited version of the streaming service, but the upgrade will expand the database to "tens of millions of songs."
If you own Amazon's newfangled smart speaker system Echo, it will only cost you $4, although it limits you to one device. The speaker's Siri-like voice assistant Alexa can assist you with playing and searching for music as well.
Amazon is just the latest entrant into the already-crowded field of music streaming services. It will compete against services like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and SoundCloud Go. This follows a rapid shift in consumer habits related to music, with digital downloads quickly falling as streaming picks up steam. Still, the business model behind streaming has come under fire from a number of artists, who have complained that it leads to unfairly low compensation for their work. Despite this, most of these companies, including Spotify and Tidal, continue to lose money every year.
Regardless, consumer habits seem to indicate that streaming is the future, and Amazon is clearly trying to fight for its own share of the market. Amazon Music Unlimited is available now.