A little too late for Amazon to join the super-crowded, hyper-competitive music streaming service arena, and hope to unthrone market leaders Spotify and Apple Music? Not when a full Amazon Music Unlimited subscription starts at $4 a month, compared to the rivals’ flat $10 single license fee.
As rumored however, only users of the e-commerce giant’s wildly successful Echo smart speaker (or Dot, or Tap) will get “premium”, ad-free access to a rich library of “tens of millions of songs” at the highly discounted price of 4 bucks stateside.
Still, if you’re the proud owner of an Amazon Prime membership, it’s also possible to score a $2 a month discount off the standard $10 fare on iPhones, iPads, Androids, desktops, Fire tablets, set-top boxes or Sonos devices.
Even better, Prime members can pay $79 in advance for a year of unlimited tunes action on their gadget of choice, which comes down to a cool $6.58 a month.
But Amazon Music Unlimited isn’t just about affordability, also going after its established rivals with deep Alexa integration (no surprises there), and a very complex recommendations engine. You can ask your personal assistant on the Echo not only to play a certain song, but adapt to your mood or activity, scour its catalog for “U2 music from the 80s”, and yes, even conduct searches based on partial lyrics you remember from an especially catchy track.
Available in the US already, and reportedly coming to the UK, Germany and Austria soon, this may take a while to truly and globally challenge Spotify, but its inauguration is sure promising.