Amazon has taken the wraps off of a new ad-supported music streaming service that will allow people to stream free music to their Echo devices, all without the usual fee associated with such things.

Normally, anyone wanting to stream Amazon Music to an Echo will need to either be a Amazon Music Unlimited subscriber for $9.99 per month, or pay $3.99 per month to stream that music to Echo-only devices. Amazon Prime members also got access to music for no extra fee.

Now, that’s no longer needed, and the free version of Amazon Music has the same 2-million strong catalog of tracks as Prime Music, although that is obviously nowhere near the 50 million songs that Amazon Music Unlimited has on tap. But, importantly, it’s free.

There will also be chances for people to upgrade to the premium paid-for options if they want more tracks to choose from or just want to see the back of the ads, of course.

The move into the free music streaming arena, which is something Apple Music doesn’t offer, is more of a direct competition for Spotify, which offers a similar ad-supported tier. Spotify is currently the most popular free music streaming service around, with around 116 million customers. That’s allowed the company to push around 96 million more to the paid tiers, which is sure to be a tactic that Amazon will also be hoping to try and emulate.

For now, the good news for Amazon Echo users who don’t want to pay for music is that they will now have a way to listen to it free of charge. So long as they’re in the United States, of course.

(Source: Amazon)

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