Look out, Spotify, Amazon Prime Music just entered the music-streaming scene

amazon prime music debut

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.


Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.

The best new music this week: James Blake, Maggie Rogers, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week: James Blake, Maggie Rogers, Deerhunter, Juliana Hatfield, Pedro The Lion, Sharon Van Etten, Steve Gunn, and Toro y Moi.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Home Theater

Yamaha’s MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable spreads analog joy throughout your home

It can be tough to listen to your favorite analog tunes anywhere besides the room where your turntable is located. With its MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable, Yamaha allows you to stream your tunes throughout your home.

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.

Apple may be developing a new iPod Touch to woo younger users

Apple may be developing its first new iPod touch model since 2015 as it aims to capture younger users who are not yet ready for their own smartphone, and expand its overall listening base in the future.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.

Jam out in hi-fi style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.

Fender’s Acoustasonic guitar uses advanced tech to become a tonal chameleon

From shredding distortion to a soft and supple fingerstyle, Fender's latest guitar innovation is an acoustic/electric hybrid that allows guitar players to dial in the widest possible range of tones.
Home Theater

Spotify adds artist-blocking feature, despite its denials

Though it continues to claim you can't do it, there is plenty of evidence that Spotify added an artist-blocking feature to its platform, making it easy for users to never hear a specific musician or band.