Corroborating a Reuters report from earlier in the year, Recode is reporting Amazon plans to launch its own music streaming service sometime later this year, possibly even as soon as next month.
More interestingly, the publication says Amazon plans to differentiate its music product by launching a second, more affordable subscription tier limited to Amazon Echo users. Set to cost between $4 and $5, the service will offer unlimited, on-demand and ad-free music streaming on the Echo, but not mobile devices.
As Recode notes, other players in the space tried and failed to launch low-cost subscription tiers, including the recently deceased Rdio. However, with companies like Google preparing to launch Echo-like competitors in the near future, a low-cost music streaming service tied to its own personal assistant within a can could help Amazon stave off competitors.
While the Echo is currently unavailable in Canada, Amazon recently began hiring Echo engineers to work out of its Canadian office, suggesting the Seattle-based company plans to launch the device here sometime soon. Moreover, Alexa, the voice-activated personal assistant that ships with the Echo, is set to come to Canada in early 2017 courtesy of Pebble’s Core wearable.
It’s unclear if Amazon plans to launch the service in Canada. Music licensing deals are notoriously difficult to negotiate, and the company has a history of not bringing its services and products to Canada.
In the U.S., the company offers Amazon Music free-of-charge to Prime subscribers, though the selection of available music limited.