Both services will be free to listeners but supported by ads. Both will have limits on choosing tracks and skipping songs.
To clarify, these two services won’t compete with each other directly. After all, one is offered only on Amazon devices, with the other only on Google devices.
But it will be interesting to see whether the addition of two new music streaming services to the market (each run by a ubiquitous tech giant, no less) will impact the listenership of music streaming platforms like Spotify, which reached the “100 million global subscribers” mark not long ago.
In late April, CivicScience polled roughly 2,000 Americans about each of these new services. The results show reasons for Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora to be at least a bit concerned. More on that later.
In general, it looks like a toss-up. Amazon Echo devices are more common than Google Home devices, but Google Home owners are a bit more likely to want to try their corresponding music service:
But Can They Compete in the Music Streaming Market?
Here’s where things get really interesting.
First, take a look at how Amazon’s new service stacks up against Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora:
According to the data, Apple Music users are the most likely to be interested in Amazon’s new service (32%), followed by Pandora* users (18%) and Spotify users (16%). *(At just 6.9 million paid subscribers, Pandora is a bit of an afterthought when it comes to paying customers. But the company still retained 66 million monthly listeners overall as of Q1 2019.)
Now, being “interested” doesn’t necessarily mean “jumping ship” — and certainly, one person can have accounts with multiple music services — but the potential for straight-up poaching customers remains.
Now, take a gander at how Google’s new service compares with that level of interest:
The big takeaway here is that Spotify users are really interested in Google’s new music service (35% interest, more than double Amazon’s rate). Google’s service more or less kept pace with Amazon’s among Apple Music listeners (28% interest) and Pandora listeners (18%).
If the plan for Amazon and Google is to reel in music lovers with a free service and then convert them from third-party music platforms to their own paid services, then the move seems likely to yield lucrative results.