Amazon Music goes free for Prime members, if you can live with shuffled tracks


Today, Amazon is expanding its music streaming offering by delivering all 100 million songs in its Amazon Music library to Prime members at no extra cost. Though not without some caveats to stay distinct from the Music Unlimited service, the new free tier arrives as one of the most value-packed offers in the music streaming space.

Amazon Music and its 100 million songs go free for Prime members

Previously if you wanted to listen to Amazon Music and its library of 100 million songs, you would have to be subscribed to the company’s paid Amazon Music Unlimited plan. Now in a move that is even more aggressive than Apple’s $5 Voice Plan for Apple Music, Amazon Music is opening its collection of tracks to anyone who already pays the $139 annual fee to be a Prime member.

The changes to the Amazon Music catalog for Prime members do now come with some caveats, however. To still incentivize customers to subscribe to Music Unlimited for the full experience, those who do opt to go with the standard tier aren’t going to get the full access. Instead, all Prime members will be able to access the Amazon Music catalog through shuffling artists, albums, and playlists. So unfortunately you won’t be able to ping Alexa to play that specific song stuck in your head.

For that, you’ll have to upgrade to the $9 per month subscription in the form of Amazon Music Unlimited. So current subscribers likely won’t find that the new free tier replaces their existing membership, though it does offer something for those who only occasionally tap into the service. The new update to Amazon Music today also effectively turns the free service into Spotify’s standard music streaming offering, minus the ads of course.

It’s also yet another way that Amazon is looking to justify the price of its Prime membership increase from earlier in the year. Back in February, the company announced that for the first time in four years the membership rate would be increasing to its highest fee yet. Throughout this year, we’ve been awaiting all of the different ways that Amazon would look to back that price hike, and there actually have been some solid new perks like a free year of Grubhub+. Today’s news adds yet another way to get more out of your subscription, though I can’t say that I wouldn’t have just been happier keeping the original price and forgoing the new benefits.

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