Amazon introduces Spotify-style free music for Alexa Echo users

The retail giant’s voice-activated devices are getting a cool new feature (Photo: AP)

Amazon has rolled out a new free music service for Alexa users who don’t mind listening to adverts inbetween songs.

The tech firm said it is making playlists and stations available to users at no extra cost, marking Amazon’s first step into free music streaming funded by advertising.

People can request playlists or stations based on a song, artist, era or genre on devices that use the Alexa digital assistant, such as the Amazon Echo.

For example, if a person wanted to hear songs from the 80s, all they need to say is, “Alexa, play 80s music” for a random choice of songs from that era.

Until now, the only way UK users could access Amazon Music was by paying a subscription to Amazon’s Prime membership or to Amazon Music Unlimited.

Free ad-supported music streaming for Alexa from Amazon Music was introduced in the US in April.

The development puts Amazon’s service in closer competition with Spotify, which already operates its own free-tier option.

The Swedish firm – which is the biggest music streaming platform – recently announced that it has added eight million paid subscribers to its platform, bringing its total to 108 million, but missed analysts’ expectations by half a million.

Apple Music, the other big player in the streaming market, does not currently offer a free tier.

It joined Alexa in November last year.

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