Amazon has finally launched its long awaited stand-alone streaming music service and it is called Amazon Music Unlimited. This new, on-demand streaming music service offers access to tens of millions of songs, and is available for $8 per month for the Prime members, or $10 per month for the non-Prime members. Amazon also launched a ‘for Echo’ subscription plan which lets you listen only on its connected speakers for just $4 per month.
As part of the launch, Amazon redesigned its Music app for Android, iOS, desktop and Fire products from the ground up. Not only will it work for the both Prime Music and Music Unlimited users (including offline), but Redington says that every aspect of the application has been tweaked to be simpler and also easier to navigate. But the most important part about the Music Unlimited, he notes, is the integration with the Alexa and Echo devices. For example, you can say things like that, ‘Alexa, play the song of the day?’ and ‘Alexa, play Greenday’s latest album?’
At its core, Amazon Music Unlimited is very similar to the other services you could subscribe to. It also has a catalog of ‘tens of millions’ of songs (Amazon’s Steve Boom tells me it has deals with all the three major labels, in addition to ‘hundreds’ of indies); a recommendations engine to surface new music; both the algorithmic and hand-made playlists; and apps for Sonos, Android, iOS, and desktop (plus Amazon’s Fire tablets and set top boxes). Amazon’s Music apps have been completely redesigned with fresh typography, revised navigation, and a focus on the artist imagery and album art. They also feature some clever perks, such as ability to automatically download music Amazon thinks you would like while in the background, so you will always have something to listen to while offline, as well as the lyrics integration.
In addition, Amazon Music Unlimited has a new feature called Side-by-Side, that pairs artist commentary with selected tracks from the their catalog. The company says it’s launching with a few dozen new Side-by-Side features, including from the artists such as The Chainsmokers, Jason Aldean, Norah Jones, Lindsey Stirling, Stings, One Republic, and Kongo, with more to come in the future. Readers of a certain gen: might liken this new feature to an updated take on MTV’s Unplugged or VH1’s Storytellers.
- Echo-only: $4/month for one Echo, Tap, or Dot
- Full access with Prime: $8/month for other devices, like an iPhone, if you’ve Prime
- Everyone else: $10/month (like Tidal, Spotify, Apple Music, etc.)
- Family plan: $15/month for six people ‘coming this year’.