How to Play Music on Alexa and Amazon Echo (Free and Paid Options)
The most approachable way to play music on an Echo device or Alexa is through music-streaming services. All music streaming services may be accessed from a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Since the reveal of Amazon Alexa and Echo speakers, the world has been amazed at what level of automation people can get with using one of these.
Since Amazon Echo products are speakers, people from the start wanted to use them to listen to music. Yet, surprisingly that wasn’t that easy to do with Alexa onboard. Up until 2019 you could upload music to the device itself or just use it as a simple Bluetooth speaker that you would connect to your tablet or PC.
But from that point on, with the new generation of products, Amazon shut down the uploading ability of Alexa, moving the users to use the streaming platforms as their only option apart from the Bluetooth.
In this article, we’re going to help you and present to you all of how you can play music on your Amazon Echo device. You will find both free and paid premium options that will cover any music taste you might have. You should have in mind that all of the free options are ad-supported, meaning you’ll hear an ad every now and then.
First off, here is a great video guide on how to set your default music service for your Alexa device:
Amazon Music (free)
As you would imagine, Amazon uses its own streaming software on its devices as a piece of default music listening program. Amazon Music Free is a handy, yet basic solution for when you want to listen to some music.
It has a limited music collection, compared to the full Amazon Music paid options, and it runs ads, but if you don’t have anything better, it will do to fill your time.
The most popular streaming platform in the world, Spotify is a paid service, but on Amazon Echo products, you can connect and play Today’s Top Hits playlist, their Discover Weekly playlist, or a custom-made playlist of your own choice.
As always, all you need to do is sign in and go for it.
Pandora is a US-only streaming radio service that was one of the first internet streaming platforms. It was acquired by Sirius XM Satellite Radio a couple of years ago and from then on it serves as a free version of their music radio.
It has a freemium option, where you can listen to music with ads, but you can freely skip as much as you like. It has a large music collection and all you have to do is to sign up and listen on.
Another world-famous streaming platform, Deezer is famous for its Flow in the paid version. But, with the free version, you’ll get to play a mix of songs based on the track, album, or playlist you’ve selected.
It has a limitation at six tracks you can skip for an hour when playing music through this service and if you have a specific song you want to hear out you can play 30 seconds preview and if you like it, you can listen to the mix based on that song and artist.
The great thing about it is that you can always switch from your premium account to a free one by just canceling your subscription.
Gimme Radio (free)
If you’re a true metal fan, then you’ll be thrilled to see what we have here. Gimme Radio is a metal-only online radio station with live DJs handpicking the best metal songs and creating the most iconic playlists you have ever heard. And it’s free!
You can listen to it from everywhere and you can use their app to chat with other metalheads from around the world.
Apple Music (free trial)
Apple Music is another way to listen to music using their free trial period as sort of a way to see what the platform has to offer and whether or not it suits your preference. Of course, all free trials come with some limitations. Nevertheless, you will have access to over 90 million songs.
TuneIn is a free app that allows access to 100,000 radio stations and over 5 million podcasts for you to listen to. It also offers general music listening divided into many genres which you can easily search. If you just want to keep up with current trends and what’s going on in the world, you can just head over to podcasts and see what piques your interest.
If you don’t want to listen to the ads all the time and have other limitations, there’s always an option to pay a monthly subscription and have unlimited access to all of the app’s features, no matter what they are. So, if you’re willing to spend a little more money, but get a premium sound quality and more, here are the best-paid options for listening to music on Alexa.
Amazon has two paid options you can use depending on what levels of access you want to have. First off, there’s Prime Music. If you’re an Amazon Prime user, for which you pay a monthly subscription anyway, you’ll get bonus access to Prime Music, consisting of two million songs, with offline listening mode and unlimited skips. If you’re looking to get unlimited access to all of the 60 million songs Amazon has available then you can get a subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited. With this, you get full access to all of the options you can have on this platform.
With Spotify premium, you’ll get up to 10,000 songs for offline listening, a subscription to Hulu video streaming service, unlimited access to all of the songs on the platform, and all of the abilities of the platform unlocked. Also, there is a great option to buy Spotify Premium at cheaper for students and families. On the student account, you have to prove that you are a student with your ID, but once you do that, you can get all of the premium stuff for half a price! Cool, right?
The latest project of Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Tidal quickly took its place on the market for music streaming devices. As an artist-owned and artist-run platform, you can help artists to get a better deal with Tidal than anywhere else in the industry. As such, it’s a paid-only platform, but with premium content that you get. There are several different subscription plans. Also, there are discounted offers for military, first responders, and students, giving them the option to get everything for half a price, which is really nice and thoughtful.
Deezer, as opposed to Spotify, is a music-only platform, and it competes with the competition through pricing. There are no specific plans which you can cycle through, just one premium plan currently available. With that, you will get all of the options this app has and if you want to save some more, you can buy a yearly subscription, which can save you some money.
The first major internet radio is still going stronger than ever, so it’s no wonder it’s still on this list. Different from the streaming platforms, SiriusXM has more of a radio format, with shows and hosts like a true radio, just going online and you can choose what you want to hear and when – something of a perfect mix of two mediums.
Of course, that doesn’t come for free, and there are several different subscription plans. You can get a four-month free trial with which you can get standard full access, which you can then continue with paying for a monthly fee.
Apple Music premium comes without limitations for the user who has subscribed and offers over 90 million songs and 30,000 playlists under your fingertips. As a bonus feature, you can also download your favorite songs in order to play them offline when you don’t have a usable Wi-Fi connection.
TuneIn premium is a paid subscription service that is available for both TuneIn Radio and TuneIn Radio Pro. This feature allows access for listening to live sports games as well as live coverage for sports like NFL, basketball, and many more. The great thing about it is that it’s ad-free without any commercials interfering which can take a load off of anyone’s mind.
Music today can easily be streamed from the comfort of your home. Through streaming services, you can choose from a variety of tens of millions of songs and play them on any Echo device.
Services like Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn Radio, iHeartRadio, and Amazon Music are great options to stream your favorite music on your Echo device. All of these services are available through your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Although all of these services are excellent choices, I find Spotify as my go-to choice for listening to music via Alexa. As a premium Spotify user, I can use my Alexa to play any song I want from a specific playlist or a certain artist.
Premium services like Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Amazon Music will give you the best overall experience as you’ll be able to choose songs that are not available on other platforms.