Amazon Prime Music Launches As a Pretty Nice Dangling CarrotBy: Josh Wolford - June 12, 2014
Prime Music will be available to devices that support the Amazon Music app, including iOS device, Android devices, Kindle Fire, and the web. Amazon wants Prime Music to feel like an appendage to your own, personal Amazon Music library – and that’s what it does.
Amazon promises over one million songs in its free Prime catalog, and touts artists like Daft Punk, P!nk, Bruno Mars, Blake Shelton, The Lumineers, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna. What Prime Music doesn’t have is anything from Universal Music Group – the largest record label in the world. Amazon went ahead and launched Prime Music without completing those negotiations.
Also, Prime Music will not offer the most recent pop hits – in fact, anything newer than six months old or so will not be available.
But there really are no restrictions, as long as you’re an Amazon Prime member. Prime Music may not have it all, but if they do have what you’re looking for, you can listen to it on-demand, as many times as you want. It is most definitely not a “Spotify killer” or anything close, really.
But what is it then? Free music for Prime members and just one more carrot to dangle at people thinking about signing up for Prime.
“When Prime launched nine years ago, the program offered Free Two-Day Shipping on one million items. Today, that selection has grown to over 20 million items. Prime Instant Video now offers unlimited streaming of more than 40,000 movies and TV episodes, up from 5,000 at launch three years ago. And the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library now features more than half a million books to borrow for free,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “Today we’re introducing Prime Music—more than a million songs from some of music’s best artists, plus hundreds of expert-programmed Prime Playlists, all at no additional cost. Prime Music is the latest great addition for Prime members and we think they’re going to love it.”
The interface is easy to navigate, with Amazon-curated playlists (a couple hundred already) and a “PRIME” denotation next to every track that’s past of Prime Music. Prime Music even offers offline playback.
Game changing? No, not in its current form. Amazon says they are dedicated to adding new tracks at a rapid rate – but that doesn’t really change the fact that Prime Music is simply the less-exciting streaming service in a pool full of streaming services.
But the goal was never to take on Spotify and its ilk. What Amazon has done here is give people who were concerned about the Prime subscription price hike a consolation prize. Sure, a yearly membership costs $20 more a year than it used to, but here’s a million free songs. Not a bad deal when you look at it that way.
Image via Amazon