Skip to main content

Amazon Prime may add music streaming for a limited selection of songs

amazon prime music streaming coming
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Music streaming is in; music downloads are out. Apple’s recent purchase of Beats Audio was just another confirmation of this fact. On Thursday, BuzzFeed reports that Amazon is working on its own music streaming service, which will become part of the $100 Amazon Prime subscription package.

Amazon will reportedly limit the availability of new music to tracks that are at least six months old and offer only a specific selection of albums licensed to the company at a discounted price. Amazon Prime’s video and TV show streaming selection is limited in the same way, especially when it comes to premium content from HBO. It seems like the company has worked out a similar deal with music labels.

Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group are already behind the project, as are several independent labels. The third major music label, Universal Music Group, hasn’t confirmed its support just yet, though. All of the music will be available to stream on demand from any device. Amazon already has another music streaming platform called Cloud Player in addition to all the other music available for download in the store. It’s unclear whether the new Prime service will be a compliment to these existing services or combine them all in one.

The company could not have picked a better time to enter the music streaming space. Just this week, Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet trends report showed that music streaming has increased dramatically since 2013, while music downloads are in decline for the first time ever. Although there are a plethora of music streaming platforms already available, Amazon’s service will be entirely unique because it will be bundled into the Prime package.

Including unlimited music streaming in the Amazon Prime subscription price is a very good thing for existing customers and might sway a few of those who were on the fence about Prime. It won’t, however, make Amazon a Spotify killer. Spotify, Beats, and Pandora promise to offer all the latest and greatest music immediately upon official release. The popularity of these music streaming services lies in their all-encompassing approach to music. It seems that Amazon Prime music will be an entirely different animal.

Editors' Recommendations

Malarie Gokey
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Mobile Editor, Malarie runs the Mobile and Wearables sections, which cover smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and…
You won’t need 17 speakers to appreciate Dolby Atmos in Apple Music
Vizio Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Shortly after Apple’s announcement yesterday that it will be adding lossless music streaming to Apple Music, Twitter was awash with hot takes, mainly in the form of jeers. “Does anyone care about lossless audio files except for the guy I dated in 2008 who made me a CD of FLAC files,” asked Wired senior writer Lauren Goode.

Goode makes a, ahem, good point: Just how big of a deal is lossless audio anyway? The answer is -- for the vast majority of folks, who happily listen to Spotify or Apple Music on an inexpensive set of wired or wireless earbuds -- not a very big deal at all. In fact, these people probably wouldn’t hear much of a difference even if their headphones could let them hear lossless audio, and the fact is, most wireless headphones simply can’t.

Read more
Why the best device for Apple’s lossless music will be an Android phone
A woman wearing the silver Apple AirPods Max.

In recent days, there’s been some talk of Apple launching a new lossless hi-fi audio tier for its Apple Music streaming music service. The leading evidence for such a move is a few lines of code in iOS 14.6 beta spotted by 9to5Mac. Those lines, which have since been removed, referenced “lossless” audio with the Apple Music app.

Apple certainly has competitive reasons to finally venture into the lossless audio category: Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, and Qobuz all offer CD-quality or better-than-CD-quality music, which leaves Apple Music as one of the last holdouts. But I can’t help feeling that Apple has boxed itself into a corner when it comes to lossless audio, and I don’t see an easy way out.
Bring back the jack?

Read more
Amazon Music becomes a shopping experience for music fans
Amazon Music in-app merchandise shopping

Starting today, the Amazon Music app is now home to music merchandise, much of which has been developed by musicians specifically for the app. According to the online giant, artist merchandise will appear on participating artists’ pages, side-by-side with their songs, albums, live streams, and music videos.

Users of the Amazon Music app can scroll and buy these items all while continuing to listen to music. The shopping integration is U.S.-only for now, with many of the products qualifying for Prime shipping for Amazon Prime members. You can also shop the collection on the regular Amazon website.

Read more