Streaming music services have found a match made in heaven with smartphones, and over the years we’ve seen option after option arrive, ready to provide us with our favorite tracks. Despite just how many choices are out there (or perhaps, because of that), we’re always seeing new services arrive, like Beats Music earlier this year, or we’re hearing about companies trying to enhance their existing offerings, like with Google and those rumors about a Songza acquisition. Today we learn about yet another new player getting involved, as Amazon kicks-off its own streaming music service, Prime Music.
As that name should probably clue you in, this is an exclusive for members of Amazon’s Prime program. The nearly $100-per-year service already offers a lot of perks, and now Amazon adds streaming music to that list. Access is available as of today, through the web and via Amazon’s apps on both Android and iOS.
Now, it’s worth noting that there are some selection issues here: Amazon wasn’t able to come to a licensing agreement with all the labels, so Universal tracks won’t be available. And even for those labels who did sign on, access to recent releases may be restricted to music at least six months old.
That threatens to put Prime Music at a disadvantage, which may be part of why Amazon isn’t attempting to market it as a stand-alone service; when it’s positioned more as a bonus to the stuff you were already going to pay for anyway with getting Prime, it’s a lot more attractive. Prime Music will also offer an ad-free listening experience, possibly luring users away from things like Spotify’s free service.
For the moment, at least, Prime Music is limited to Prime subscribers in the United States. If you don’t have Prime and are still interested in seeing what Prime Music’s all about, Amazon’s offering 30-day free trials.