Picture via Amazon
Amazon just announced big changes to Amazon Music for all Prime members. The company is expanding its music library for Prime members at no additional cost. If you’re already an Amazon Prime subscriber, rejoice: the entire Amazon Music library of over 100 million songs is available for your listening pleasure at any time.
Predictably, the new perks have a catch: Prime members get full access to the entire music library, but there are restrictions.
What are the free benefits?
The new Amazon Music benefits are not really free but they are included with all Prime subscriptions. All Prime subscribers can listen to any artist, album or playlist, but only in shuffle mode. Listeners won’t be able to go to an artist’s page and play a particular song, but they will be able to listen ad-free. The lack of ads is a big draw for the music service, as Amazon’s free tier, Spotify, has similar playback restrictions, but with ads (Amazon’s other big competitor, Apple Music, n does not have a free tier). Prime members will also receive music and podcast recommendations based on their tastes and a variety of “All-Access Playlists” that will be available for offline listening.
In addition to music, Prime members will be able to listen to the majority of podcasts ad-free. Amazon will launch platform-exclusive podcasts featuring entertainment heavyweights like actors Keke Palmer and Carey Mulligan. These new shows as well as those from NPR, CNN, Wonderly, ESPN and The New York Times will be available without visual or audio ads. This is a major advantage for Amazon Music, as Spotify podcast listeners still have to suffer from ads even when using Spotify Premium.
The Amazon Music app will also receive new updates: Amazon teases some stylistic changes to the app as well as a new feature called “Podcast Previews” that will create “curated clips designed to introduce podcasts to new listeners and facilitate the task of existing podcasts”. podcast fans to find their next favorite show.
What is Music Unlimited and how much does it cost?
If Prime users decide they want to listen to music without playback restrictions, they’ll have to pay $8.99 ($9.99 for those without Prime) one month after an initial 30-day free trial. Amazon Music Unlimited also gives users lossless music quality, spatial sound, and the ability to download their library for offline listening.
Amazon offers several different subscription tiers (all prices are for monthly payment plans) for Music Unlimited, starting at just $0.99 per month for Amazon Prime Student members. Other subscription models are a $14.99 family plan and a $4.99 plan that lets you use the music service on a single Echo or Fire TV.
The new changes probably won’t motivate many users to leave their existing streaming service, but Prime members who aren’t already using a competitor will likely appreciate their access to Amazon’s entire library of music and podcasts. Only time will tell if the benefits help Amazon get ahead of Spotify and Apple Music.