In direct competition with the likes of Apple Music and Spotify, Amazon unveiled this week its new Amazon Music Unlimited streaming service—which provides a significant upgrade from the company’s former Prime Music offering, but, with an added cost.
For the first time, the eCommerce giant isn’t bundling the new media offer within the annual $99 Prime subscription fee; instead, Amazon Music Unlimited will, like Apple’s service, cost $9.99 per month (or $7.99 for Prime members). The real cost savings comes for Echo owners, who will get Music Unlimited for $3.99/month—however, this limits users to playing tunes from their Echo devices only. There is also a Family Plan available for up to six at $14.99 per month.
All subscribers will get “tens of millions” of ad-free songs with unlimited skips; again, similar to other services already on the market now. Non-Echo service plans will also have the ability to download songs for offline play, and listen on both desktop and mobile devices. Amazon’s legacy Prime Music app was updated this morning with the new Music Unlimited logo and features.
What Amazon will be missing—at least from the start—is the “exclusive” content from big-name artists like Kanye, Drake, Beyonce, and Chance the Rapper, who have already either invested in or signed deals with the likes of Tidal or Apple. This, plus the de-coupling of the subscription fee from Prime’s annual charge, could make Amazon Music Unlimited a tough sell for consumers.