Amazon Makes Its Complete Music Streaming Library Free for Prime Members – But There’s a Problem
One of the many perks of being an Amazon Prime member is free access to streaming 2 million songs from your Amazon Music library. That advantage just got more interesting with today’s announcement that the company is making the full Amazon Music library available to Prime members, increasing the number of songs to stream from 2 million to 100 million, all ad-free.
Along with a vastly expanded music library, Prime subscribers will have access to the “largest catalog of ad-free podcasts,” according to Amazon. The list includes shows from the Wondery catalog, which Amazon acquired in 2020, such as Dr. Death, SmartLess, and Even the rich. Also available for ad-free streaming are Amazon Exclusives such as MrBallen Podcast: Strange, Dark and Mysterious Stories, Baby this is Keke Palmerand podcasts from CNN, ESPN and The New York Times.
The new additions are not accompanied by an increase in the price of an Amazon Prime subscription. “We continue to innovate on behalf of our customers and bring even more entertainment to Prime members, in addition to the convenience and value they already enjoy,” said Steve Boom, vice president of Amazon Music, at the company’s launch.
Prime subscribers will be able to browse the expanded offerings in an updated music app from Amazon, which gains enhancements like the Podcast Previews feature. On the music front, new discovery features are being introduced to help users find new artists based on their tastes and stream “a collection of All-Access playlists tailored to personalized listening preferences on demand and download them for listen offline”, according to Amazon release.
Review: Free, but with a catch – great
There’s no doubt that increasing the number of free-to-stream songs in the Amazon Music library from 2 million to 100 million is a very compelling addition that makes being a Prime member more rewarding than ever. It’s like putting Spotify’s free tier on your subscription, except that unlike Spotify, all these songs will come ad-free.
The problem here is that you will only be able to shuffle by artist, album or playlist – you cannot select a specific song to play. To do this, you will need to upgrade to a Amazon Music Unlimited subscription ($9.99 / £9.99 / AU$11.99 per month or $7.99 / £7.99 / AU$6.99 per month with an existing Amazon Prime subscription) that will provide full access and unrestricted to these 100 million songs.
Amazon Music Unlimited, which is at the top of our list of best music streaming servicesalso allows subscribers to stream music in uncompressed, high-resolution formats along with Sony’s Spatial Audio and 360 Reality Audio on certain tracks. These very valuable extras aren’t provided for free to Amazon Prime members, although it could be argued that the average non-audio enthusiast Prime member wouldn’t mind.
But even without things like Lossless and Spatial Audio, as well as the ability to select a specific track to stream from the Amazon Music library of 100 million songs, an Amazon Prime membership is better than ever.
Per $14.99 / £8.99 (opens in new tab) / BRL 6.99 (opens in new tab) per month or $139 / £95 / AU$ 59 (opens in new tab) per year, you get free fast shipping, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows, ad-free podcasts, top gamesover 3,000 books and magazines with Prime Reading and unlimited photo storage on Photos from the Amazon (that’s just 5GB in Australia). That’s a lot of stuff for the money. Amazon clearly wants to keep us tethered to its rich ecosystem, and free access to a lot more music is just one more way to make that happen.