So, you’ve finally bought yourself a device that has access to Alexa.
And while setting it up, you’re thinking…
“Is this all a one-time expense? Or should I be ready for more charges?”
Let me answer these questions for you.
Continue reading to discover:
- How much does Alexa cost per month.
- 7 hidden costs of Alexa (they’re not what you think they are).
- 3 optional accessories that can make you spend more for a better Alexa experience.
- And much, much more…
How much does Alexa cost per month?
Alexa doesn’t cost anything per month. The application is free and accessible on your smartphone. And once you buy an Alexa-associated device, there should be no extra charges. But, subscribing to other Alexa-enabled applications can cost you money. Fees will depend on the application or plan.
7 hidden costs of Alexa
#1: Amazon Prime
After buying an Alexa-associated device that should be it…
You won’t need to pay a monthly fee to keep Alexa functional.
You can still demand it to perform its basic functions.
Moreover, some Amazon products have Alexa as an AI assistant. Those are:
Then, Amazon’s Alexa, the application, is free to install on your smartphone device.
Yep, you can gain access to Alexa without even purchasing the Amazon devices above.
When you do install Alexa on your phone, it’ll act as an assistant for your device. Kind of like the iPhone’s Siri.
And all you’d have to do after buying a device or installing the app is to create an account.
Now, when does the monthly spending begin?
It’ll only be up to your preference…
As I said, Alexa devices have basic functions by default. Those depend on the device that you bought.
But there can be more to it…
Many apps and subscriptions are available to enhance your Alexa experience.
A primary app that takes Alexa’s ability further is Amazon Prime.
Benefits of subscribing to Amazon Prime
I’ll go into detail about those advantages that you can use with Alexa. Those are:
Perk #1: Amazon Music Prime
This is the first thing that’s included with your Amazon Prime membership.
So, at no extra cost, you’ll have Amazon Music Prime.
It lets you listen to 2 million songs.
Then, it creates personalized stations and playlists for you.
You can play any music on demand. And most of all, listen ad-free.
It’s accessible on all of the Alexa-associated devices I mentioned above.
But, you can only listen to one device at a time.
Perk #2: Prime Video
This is something you can enjoy on your Echo Show or Fire Stick.
Amazon’s Prime Video lets you watch a wide selection of movies and TV shows.
You can also enjoy exclusive Amazon Originals and other popular titles.
But, some movies or shows are still up for you to ‘Rent’ or ‘Buy.’
Regardless, anything you put on the screen will be shown in HD.
Moreover, you can download any shows or movies. Then, watch those offline on your device.
Lastly, you can watch on up to 3 devices at once.
So, you won’t just be the one to enjoy Prime Video. Prime Video can entertain your whole family or best friends with you.
These are more of the benefits that Prime has to offer. However, they’re not connected to Alexa:
- Prime Gaming.
- Prime Reading.
- Amazon Photos.
- Free next-day deliveries.
- Prime Try Before You Buy.
- Exclusive deals on Amazon.
- Rx savings (pharmaceutical discounts).
Amazon Prime cost
To be a Prime member, you’d have to pay a monthly fee of $14.99.
If you wanna save a little, you can opt for the annual payment. It costs $139 per year.
Reminder: Before you avail of this paid membership, you can opt for a 30-day free trial.
There, you can enjoy those perks for free and see if Prime is right for you.
If not, you can cancel the membership before the trial period expires. With that, you won’t be charged with anything.
But after the trial ends, you’ll be back to Alexa’s basic functions.
#2: Optional accessories
Owning an Alexa-enabled device can leave you wanting more…
I say so as you might know how much more you can do with it.
And that all those free and basic functions are just the start…
There are more optional accessories that can take Alexa further.
It won’t just be playing music or shows for you…
All in all, Alexa can help with improving your home’s function.
But only if you purchase other smart devices.
Now, get ready to turn your house into a smart home…
I’m about to give out some examples of those accessories. Moreover, they also work as recommendations:
Control the lights on your home through your Amazon Echo.
But first, you must buy the exact products made for it.
An example is Bulbrite Solana LED Smart Light Bulb, which costs $9.05 to $19.99.
It’s compatible with Echo Dot. Plus, it’s also accessible on the Solana app.
Its features are:
- Wifi compatible and wifi-enabled.
- Schedule lights on and off at your home.
- Choose whether to brighten or dim the lights.
Talk about a total home upgrade with Amazon’s smart thermostat.
It’s compatible with both Echo Dot and Echo Show.
With that, you can control your home’s temperature just by saying things like:
“Alexa, set the house to cool.”
Moreover, it claims to help you save energy. So, it can help you save on energy bills.
You can have all that for a one-time buy amounting to $60.
You might also want to know: Are Smart Thermostats Universal?
Last but not least, the iRobot Roomba i3 EVO (3150) Robot Vacuum. That model costs $299.99.
This smart vacuum has many tricks for you to take advantage of.
From setting it to clean while you’re out…
Or immediately clean out that thing you spilled on the floor.
And you can do those with the help of Alexa.
#3: Music streaming services
Your Echo Dot or Show automatically comes with Amazon Music Free. That music streaming service is initially set as default.
Moreover, it doesn’t cost any monthly charges to function.
But, its abilities have limitations…
You’ll only have access to select content. Then, you can’t play a particular song on demand.
You’d always have to select from a playlist. You can curate it, or you can listen to Amazon’s pre-made selections.
Now, that might leave you wanting more…
You might desire to play a current favorite song. And you want it to play immediately.
But, you need a subscription to a music streaming service for that.
And with that, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee depending on the app or plan.
Amazon music unlimited ($7.99/month)
One music subscription you can opt for is Amazon Music Unlimited.
It claims to give you the ultimate listening experience. Mainly because it’s:
- Can download songs offline.
- Lets you choose from 90 million songs.
If you wanna try it out first, a 30-day free trial period is available.
The difference between Amazon Music Unlimited and Amazon Music Prime
Prime music comes automatically with your Prime membership. It requires no further cost to operate.
Now, Amazon Music Unlimited is a stand-alone service that needs monthly payment. And it has more songs for you to enjoy than Prime music.
Continue reading: 7 Steps To Play Amazon Music On Alexa
Other music-streaming services
If you’re not set on Amazon’s service when it comes to music…
You can always choose to link another music app on your Alexa.
Some examples are:
- Spotify Premium ($9.99/month).
- Pandora Premium ($9.99/month).
Continue reading: 5 Sneaky Ways To Play Music On Alexa For Free
#4: TV and movie streaming services
As I mentioned earlier, Prime membership lets you stream many shows and movies.
But what if you don’t have a Prime membership?
Then, you can still subscribe to Prime Video alone.
Now, doing so will cost you $8.99/month.
But what if the selections of Prime Video aren’t for you?
No worries about that…
You can link your Alexa to other streaming services, such as:
- Hulu ($6.99 to $12.99 per month).
- HBO Max ($10 to $15 per month).
- Netflix ($9.99 to $19.99 per month).
As you can see, those kinds of subscriptions create potential hidden costs for your Alexa.
Yes, reading on Amazon’s Kindle is very cool…
Plus, you get to store hundreds of ebooks on that lightweight device.
And you can bring those with you anywhere you go.
Why won’t you? Kindle is slim and compact.
But how ‘bout when you’re busy at the moment?
When you wanna read but also, you need to prepare food in the kitchen.
Well, what if you make Alexa read you a book?
Such a feature is accessible through your Amazon Echo Dot or Show.
However, the luxury of this experience comes with a price…
Unfortunately, unlimited audiobooks aren’t free for everyone to enjoy.
You’d have to be subscribed to an audiobook app first.
As of now, the leading one is Audible, which costs $7.95 to $14.95 per month.
That app also offers podcasts that you can listen to.
Moreover, it also gives you the chance to try out their services first. You can do so by availing of their 1-month free trial period.
That aside, a Prime membership also gives you free Audible content. Even subscribing to it at first lets you have 2 audiobooks for free.
With that, you can let Alexa tell the stories of your new read for you.
You can just simply say:
“Alexa, read [title of the book].”
For further information, here are more commands involving Alexa and audiobooks.
#6: Radio access
Not sure what to listen to?
Maybe you’ve grown a little tired of your playlists, podcasts, and audiobooks for now.
Or you might want a little refresher from your usual listening activities.
You can try listening to the radio.
There, you’d get to hear out different kinds of banters and top songs at the moment.
If you wanna be up to date on sports, but you’re doing something else around the house…
Hey, you can have Alexa help you with that.
But only given that you’ve linked radio applications to your Alexa.
Moreover, such requires subscription plans for you to enjoy premium features fully.
One app that lets you listen to the radio on your Alexa is…
First of all, TuneIn is an app that’s available for free.
But, there’s also a version that requires a one-time payment.
Here’s the difference between the two
|Feature||TuneIn Radio||TuneIn Radio Pro|
|Radio access||100,000 radio stations||100,000 radio stations|
|Podcast access||With podcast access||With podcast access|
Moreover, TuneIn has also a subscription service. To avail, you’d need to pay $9.99 per month.
Its additional features are:
- Live NFL and NHL games coverage.
- 600 music stations (commercial-free).
- Live college basketball and football games coverage.
For further reading: 8 Things To Do if Alexa Won’t Play Your Radio Station
#7: Wifi network
You might already have this at your home prior to buying Amazon devices…
If not, it can cost you constant data plans to keep Alexa functional.
So, the internet does count as a hidden cost when owning such gadgets.
Here’s an example…
According to Digital Music News, an hour of music streaming can use more than 150 MB of data. That’s if you’re using Spotify.
But since Alexa is involved, the data amount can be larger than what’s given.
Alexa’s internet bandwidth requirement and usage
The required speed to keep Alexa running is 512 Kbps.
In total, the monthly data usage of Alexa is more or less 1 GB.