Amazon is entering the music-streaming market with an on-demand service to rival Spotify and Apple Music.
Dubbed Amazon Music Unlimited, the service offers Prime Members a subscription rate of $7.99 a month or $79 per year while non-Prime members can sign up for $9.99 a month. Also, a family subscription plan will be launched later this year, permitting up to six family members simultaneous access to Amazon Music Unlimited for $14.99 a month or $149 annually. Membership comes with access to a catalog of tens of millions of songs and thousands of hand-curated playlists and personalized stations.
But the best deal is for owners of Echo, Amazon’s Internet-connected device that comes complete with Alexa, a voice-activated digital assistant. The ‘for Echo’ subscription plan is available for only $3.99 a month with full access to Amazon Music Unlimited. The tall, cylinder-shaped device will make the Amazon Music experience “more conversational and personalized all the time.”
“And if you want a sense of the future of voice-controlled music, go ahead and ask Alexa for a free Music Unlimited trial, and play around on your Echo,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. “If you don’t know the name of a song but know a few lyrics, if you want to hear songs from a specific decade, or even if you’re looking for music to match your mood, just ask.”
For instance, you could say to Echo: “Alexa, play Van Halen from the 70s” and Alexa will play tracks from the rocker group’s first few albums.
The Amazon Music app — available on Fire devices, iOS, Android, Web, PC and Mac — has also been redesigned so the interface emphasizes artist images and album art while also making music discovery and playback the main focus.
“Key features of the app include Home, which showcases selections by Amazon Music editors to help customers stay up-to-date on the music they love and what’s trending and popular; Recommended, where customers can find personalized music suggestions powered by Amazon’s recommendation technology; and Now Playing, where synchronized lyrics make it easy to follow along to your favorite music,” the company said.
Amazon Music Unlimited, thus far, is available only in the U.S. but it will be coming to the U.K., Germany and Austria later this year.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.