It looks like everyone is getting into the music-streaming scene. Rhapsody was first to launch; Pandora and Spotify made it popular; then Apple and Samsung joined the fray; and now, Amazon is getting into the mix with Amazon Prime Music. The service provides access to more than one million songs for all current and future Amazon Prime subscribers, at no extra cost.
The addition of ad-free music streaming to Amazon’s already impressive list of Prime membership perks should pull in more subscribers and help current Prime customers swallow the recent price increase a bit easier. Currently, all of Amazon’s subscribers have access to free two-day shipping, unlimited movies and TV shows, 500,000 eBooks, and those one million songs from major recording artists – not a bad deal for $99 a year.
Unlike Pandora, iTunes Radio, and Milk Music, Prime Music isn’t a radio service. It’s much more in tune with Spotify’s line of thinking, offering several pre-fab playlists and allowing users to create their own. Users can even download playlists for listening offline, similar to a premium Spotify subscription.
The Prime Playlists usually come with 20 to 50 tracks, which are carefully compiled by Amazon. The playlist names are off-beat – sometimes clever, and occasionally corny. You can listen to the Feel Good Country, Playdate with Toddlers, The Heaviest Metal, Hip-Hop for Your Commute, and other pre-made playlists. Amazon will even send you suggested songs and albums once it gets to know your taste in music. The more you rate and review music, the better Amazon’s suggestions will become.
The only real downside to Amazon Prime Music is that its selection is significantly more limited than that of its main competitor, Spotify. One million songs may sound like a lot, but in comparison with Spotify’s 20 million, it’s a very small number. Amazon plans to add many more tracks soon and its partnerships with Warner Music and Sony Music will certainly help to stock the new music-streaming service, but Prime Music is missing one major record label: Universal Music.
A previous report indicated that Prime Music would also be limited to tracks that were at least six months old, but Amazon stated that this is not the case. Prime Music may not get the freshest new music quite as quickly as Spotify, but rest assured, they will get there eventually.
Prime Music is available on Mac, PC, iOS, and Android devices, so unless you’re a Windows Phone user, Amazon’s got you covered. The app update will arrive automatically over the air to Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets, but iOS and Android users will have to download the Amazon Music app if they haven’t already, or install the new update. If you already have a Prime subscription, the new music service will be automatically available for your listening pleasure. If you’re not a Prime subscriber, you can try it out for 30 days before you make a decision.