Amazon’s Echo speaker has been gaining steam since its announcement, but its success is completely dependent on how well Amazon ties its services to the device. So far they’ve been doing a fine job with it, frequently adding it new features and apps that support it.
We know an Amazon music subscription service is on the way, and that will inevitably support Amazon Echo, but a new rumor has popped up about how Amazon might use that service to try something new for the industry.
It’s already been reported that their music service will cost $10 per month, putting it in league with Google Play Music, Apple Music, Spotify, et al and will offer unlimited music playback, offline listening, and no ads. That’s not surprising at all. The interesting thing about Amazon’s service is that they’ll be offering a cheaper tier that’s only $5, but it’s tied to an Amazon Echo speaker. You won’t be able to listen to it on your phone or computer, but it’ll save you 50% every month.
That’s a really interesting proposal that can potentially be a big benefit to Amazon. Current Echo users will have an incentive to try out the cheaper subscription, and someone looking for a music subscription might be interested in purchasing an Echo to try and save some money every month, especially if they can work with only listening to music in one place. Either way, that locks customers into Amazon’s ecosystem.
The music subscription scene is, for lack of a better word, pretty stale. There’s a ton of competition but not many features to differentiate between everything available. Google struck gold with ad-free YouTube, but otherwise it’s just about identical to Spotify. Apple Music has some exclusives that you may or may not care about, and Spotify offers some social features and PS4 integration that, again, probably aren’t selling features to everyone. A cheaper tier from Amazon might be just the thing to start forcing competitors to add features that we really care about.