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Amazon launches Prime Music streaming service

by Mark Tyson on 12 June 2014, 12:15

Tags: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)

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Amazon has quietly launched its new Prime Music service, an ad-free music streaming facility which will be free to all Prime members. By strengthening the current Amazon Prime offerings, which include free shipping, a video-on-demand streaming service and access to a Kindle book library for $99pa, Amazon hopes to broaden the appeal of Prime and lure in new subscriptions. However, the service is only available in the US initially.

The e-tail giant's newly launched music streaming service will give Prime members access to over a million songs and unlimited streaming, with no adverts. Members can also download music to listen to offline through Amazon Music, a re-launched version of Amazon's mobile app known as Amazon Cloud Player, which is compatible with "your phone, tablet, and computer".

Although 1 million songs may sound like a lot, Amazon's song catalogue is relatively limited if compared to Spotify's 20 million song library and Deezer's 30 million tunes. It also lacks new releases, including many currently in the charts, and requires users to go through several steps, such as adding tracks to their library, before they can start streaming the music.

According to Reuters, Amazon's Prime Music will not include songs from Universal Music Group Inc's catalogue, including works from artists such as Lady Gaga and Kanye West, as the two companies have yet to reach a business agreement. But Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and other smaller labels have all signed on to the service.

"If there are a few tracks you want to buy, the cost of doing that in our store will be dramatically less than paying $120 a year for, frankly, a lot of music people don't listen to," Amazon's head of digital music, Steve Boom said in an interview, whilst acknowledging that Prime Music's library may not be so extensive compared to streaming music rivals.

Non-Prime members who are interested in testing out Prime Music can take up Amazon's free 30-day Prime trial to do so. Currently the Prime Music library isn't going to significantly challenge Spotify's width and depth, but if you were already considering signing up for Prime, this could edge you nearer to deciding in Amazon's favour.

HEXUS Forums :: 17 Comments

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This isn't likely to make me feel better about the price hike in Prime costs that came with Instant Video. I *still* think it would have been better to slightly increase the old Prime cost, then offer IV and music streaming as “add on” products.

I've been on Instant Video and I'm not overly impressed either. What's there as bundled content is pretty old, or very niche. It doesn't compare well with what's available on Virgin Media on-demand. Paid for content is also very expensive.

As the article says, “only” a million tracks, and I'm willing to bet that these will be pretty much limited to the kind of fare that Radio 1 plays. Maybe when it comes over here we'll get an ad-supported free alternative too.

I'm still planning to cancel my Prime membership before it renews - might even use the money saved towards the Netflix subscription that the kids are badgering me for.
Can't say I'm a fan of the “All or Nothing” package. And certainly not at that price. I'm quite happy to wait a couple of days to get an item (or use amazon locker) and I wouldn't use the video streaming service enough to make that worthwhile. So I'l be choosing the ‘nothing’ option.
I probably won't make use of this, but credit to them for adding more value again :)

Personally I get more than enough value out of the shipping alone (especially around christmas time) so video+music is just a nice bonus on top. The shipping is worth the money alone if you use amazon a lot.
Think if they added Audiobooks, I'd be slightly more happy with my Prime subscription (think Audible is owned by amazon). At the moment, nothing there's worth the cost, the only reason I went prime is because I was regularly ordering nappies for my kids, so was worth it at £41. But not for the current cost…. movies is alright, but nothing special and I won't miss it if I didn't have it.
It's US only for the time being, as considering how long it took their video streaming to reach the UK, I won't be holding my breath about this factoring in my decision to renew my Prime in October or not.

As it stands, I think I will renew it. The kids use it quite a lot, and we have paid for a few films so far. It might actually improve when I get an old PS3 working again and replace the Sony BD playerwe have at the moment, the interface Amazon it pretty terrible (it does a performance check every time you start to stream something, the PS3 doesn't do that).

edit And I agree, wrapping Audible into the subscription in some way would be awesome.

edit 2 And an Android app for instant video would be good.