Amazon Music launched Thursday on its first pay TV service. Joining Comcast's Xfinity high-end pay TV service as well as its bundle of streaming apps, Amazon Music can now stream tunes through customers' TVs.
Subscribers to Amazon Music, the e-commerce giant's competitor to Spotify, will have access to its full music library on as the partnership rolls out to set-top boxes over the next few weeks. And people who have Amazon Prime, the membership program best known for unlimited two-day shipping, will also be able to stream Prime Music's more limited library of on-demand songs as well.
"We're always looking for ways to extend the reach to our customer base and give them new options to engage our music service," Ryan Redington, director of Amazon Music, said in an interview last month.
Comcast, the biggest cable provider in the US, has been more energized than any competitor about adding Netflix, , and others. Even as cord-cutting continues to vaporize cable and satellite companies' subscriber growth, Comcast's addition of streaming video competitors reversed years of tension between traditional pay TV companies and digitally delivered upstarts.to its traditional pay TV service in the last three years, letting its subscribers watch and search for programming from
Streaming music services, however, are a more seamless addition to cable services like Comcast, which have offered music stations for decades. Prior to Amazon Music joining Comcast's services, the cable giant already offered Pandora and iHeart.
"It's part of the broader strategy to aggregate all the best entertainment options in one place for our customer," Nancy Spears, Comcast Cable's vice president of business operations and strategy, said in an interview last month.
Amazon Music will be available both on Comcast's X1 high-tech cable service as well as its new Flex program. Flex is a $5-a-month bundle that gives Comcast's internet-only customers a streaming box, a voice remote and a digital interface that aggregates all the streaming options available on X1 -- but doesn't include live, traditional channels.
X1 and Flex customers can say "Amazon Music" into the voice remote to launch its app, or they can navigate to the Apps section and log in to start listening. People who haven't tried Amazon Music Unlimited yet are eligible for the standard 30-day free trial.
Comcast also supports smaller audio services NPR One, Stingray, XITE and pay TV's traditional Music Choice offering.