Listeners will be able to ask Alexa to play music by creating stations based on a song, artist, era or genre. The voice assistant will also be able to drive up popular global playlists on Amazon Music, including choices like Country Heat and Fuego Latino. The free tier of Amazon music will have a limited music library, similar to the two million songs that Amazon Prime subscribers get access to for free. Amazon Music Unlimited, the company's paid premium level, includes access to more than 50 million songs.
The decision to launch an ad-supported offer for Alexa devices appears to be Amazon's attempt to exploit the popularity of its smart speakers. While Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music are working on the voice assistant, Amazon's own streaming service is a more natural fit ̵[ads1]1; especially if there are no extra costs. Amazon reported earlier this year that it has sold over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices so far, and a recent study by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners found that Echo devices account for 70 percent of all smart speakers in the United States.