Amazon has launched a standalone, ad-free, on-demand streaming music service to rival the likes of Spotfiy and Apple Music, with a large catalog and a range of plans at different price points.
Amazon Music Unlimited offers ‘tens of millions of songs’ from major and indie labels. The standard individual plan costs $9.99 a month; it’s discounted to $7.99 a month or $79 a year for Prime members.
A family plan, which will become available later this year, grants up to six people access to the service for $14.99 a month or $149 a year. If you just want an account to stream tunes to a single Amazon Echo, Dot or Tap speaker, it’ll cost you only $3.99 a month. A free 30-day trial is also available.
Amazon Music Unlimited will also offer recommendations, algorithmic and hand-made playlists and the ability to search for songs by lyrics.
With an Echo, you’ll also be able to use voice commands for placing requests like , “Alexa, play ‘Happy Music’ for a mood-based playlist, and, “play Meshuggah’s new song” to hear the band’s latest single. You can also make a vague request like, “Alexa, play music for a dinner party” to cue up playlists based on your listening history, such as “Dinner with Friends,” or “Cooking with a Classic Soul.”
In case you’re wondering about Prime Music – which offers a limited library of about a couple million songs – it’ll still be available for free to Prime subscribers.
With that, Amazon is set to shake up the streaming music business. However, it has a lot of ground to cover before it can rile up its rivals. Spotify offers numerous innovative features for finding tunes, and Apple Music is already available internationally.