Tech trade Recode has bolstered news first confirmed by Billboard in June — that Amazon is planning a streaming subscription exclusively for users of its Echo home assistant (or smart speaker — this is the “VHS or Beta?” stage of this rising device class). The service will cost half of the now-standard $10-per-month that Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal (minus hi-res) and Amazon’s own rumored, full-feature service will cost.
The strategy from Amazon is clearly meant to drive interest in its Echo device, which operates with the much-praised voice assistant Alexa. “Voice tech,” to use an overly broad term, is seen as the near-future of personal, and familial, tech.
Recode reports that Amazon has yet to get signatures from the major labels or publishers, an important part of running a streaming business. Amazon and two of the three majors — Sony Music and Warner Music — declined to comment on the rumored service. Universal Music did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
One source, however, said that an October launch for the two service was not out of the question.
Pandora also plans to augment its own $5-per-month service, One, when it launches its own full-featured streaming service, which is predicted to land this fall.
This article has been updated.