Google and Amazon both are both launching free, ad-supported versions of their streaming music services. And both are available exclusively on smart speakers at launch.

You can now listen to YouTube Music for free if you have a Google Home or another Google Assistant-powered speaker. And Amazon Music is now free for anyone with an Alexa-enabled device.

There are a few key restrictions on both services:

  • They’re both ad-supported, which means you’ll hear commercials play from time to time unless you pony up some cash*.
  • You can’t play full albums. Instead you’ll get stations or playlists based on your request. It’s more like Pandora’s free service than Spotify’s in that regard.

Google’s announcement also suggests that you only get a limited number of skips and song replays on the free tier. It’s unclear if Amazon Music has the same limitation, but I’d be surprised if it didn’t.

There’s no word on if or when you’ll be able to access these ad-supported music streaming services on devices other than smart speakers. But the good news is that if you buy a Google Home, Amazon Echo, or another Alexa or Assistant-enabled device, you now have a new option for listening to music without paying a monthly fee.

*YouTube Music subscriptions run $10 per month, while Amazon Music Unlimited is $8 per month for Prime members, $10 per month for non-Prime members or $4 per month for use on a single Echo device. 

via Google and Variety

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5 replies on “YouTube Music and Amazon Music now available for free (with ads… on smart speakers)”

  1. You could already listen to Google Music for free on a Google Home. It was a predetermined playlist, similar to what was mentioned in the story but you got to pick the genre and I’ve never listened to an ad. So is YouTube Music going to be like regular YouTube where you have to listen to 3 ads for every 60 secs of video?

  2. And there goes any hope that smart speaker devices are going to support DLNA streaming of your own music from media servers on your LAN.

  3. This was the obvious direction. Hilarious actually. Look no further than the need for a mechanism that is a lot harder to block ads. Unlike the web ads of course. I’m guess the artists are getting much of anything, similar to those providing answers to the box. Can’t cash a “mention” cheque at the bank.

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