Alexa’s Big Music Moment – Growth, Ads, and Country Vibes


As we’re all aware, Alexa-enabled devices and smart speakers can tell us the news, lock our doors, and order baby wipes. Turns out, they also still play music, and when we ask for something more than once, Amazon listens.

In January 2019, Amazon reported 100 million Alexa-enabled devices had been sold. Smart speakers are riding serious momentum after being a top seller during Prime Day for the third year in a row.

This saturation of speakers means that Amazon can double down on music as a major profit driver. Amazon’s Music Unlimited subscription service has grown 70% in the last year, bringing the total number up to 32 million total paid subscribers. While it’s still miles away from Spotify’s 100 million subscribers and Apple’s 60 million subscribers, Amazon’s seeing the biggest growth.

Combined with the news that Amazon is courting advertisers to put audio ads on Alexa-enabled devices, this could be the start of a huge advertising opportunity, with roots in music. We’ll have to see how this plays out.

Success in this sector is largely due to the popularity of Prime and the Echo-based Unlimited subscription tier, which starts at just $4 per month. Interestingly, two growth stories are following this trend: 

  • The adoption of music in the 55 and older demographic has grown 14%, compared with 5% at Spotify. 
  • Country music is played 2.5x more often on Prime Music than the industry average. 

Giddyap, partner.