Amazon has entered into discussions to launch a free, ad-supported music service, intensifying its competitive threat to the global streaming leader, Spotify.

The world’s biggest e-retailer would market the new concept through its voice-activated Echo speakers, sources say, and would offer a limited catalog to start. To obtain licenses for the free music, Amazon has proposed to initially pay some record labels a per-stream rate, regardless of how much advertising they sell and this all could become available as early as next week.

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The move underscores Amazon’s growing marketplace power as a online distributor that can afford to discount music as a loss-leader to support its core retail business. Until now, the Jeff Bezos-owned company has offered its limited Prime Music service as a way to drive overall Prime subscriptions, which costs $119 a year and includes perks like free delivery. Amazon Music Unlimited is sold separately for $9.99 a month.

Currently, Spotify is the only major subscription-dependent music streaming service with a free tier, making it a generous play that’s been key to acquiring new paying customers. The platform now counts 96 million paying subscribers and 116 million free users.

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