Is Amazon Launching A $5 Spotify Competitor? Sure, If You Have An Echo

Amazon’s 2019 Alexa Event Preview

Amazon wants to give customers the best price available for streaming music. Or, at least, it wants to do so for some of its customers — namely, the ones that have Echo devices already or are willing to get one on the double.

According to reports by Recode, Amazon wants to offer a cut-price version of Spotify for Echo owners — an interesting variation on what it does best: crushing the competition with a slightly more valuable version of a subscription service.

Prime members can already tap into Amazon’s limited — but reasonably robust — music streaming service. Prime customers with Echos to call their own have the additional ability to task Alexa with pulling up whatever artist they like (if the service happens to offer it).

The problem is the offerings are nowhere near as extensive as the competition; both Spotify and Apple Music offer users more choices. The new service, theoretically, could correct that.

Though, the correction comes with an odd cost. While most music streaming requires access to a mobile or web app, Amazon is looking to lock its stream to its very specific speaker device — a more closed-garden approach than one might expect. The experts note that the move is rather unsurprising, given Amazon’s general efforts to spread the Echo and its smaller sibling, the Tap.