Amazon has jumped into the music streaming scene with Prime Music, an ad-free service for its Prime members.
The online retail giant launched the music service Thursday. It’s the most recent “freebie” for Amazon Prime customers, following free two-day shipping, free video streaming and a monthly book lending for free through Kindle First.
Amazon hiked its annual membership by $20 to $99 in March. Since then it’s added a Prime Pantry grocery service and inked an exclusive, multiyear licensing deal with HBO for free streaming of a number of its older shows. Plus, Amazon is expected to release its Prime Data smartphone next week.
Prime Music features more than 1 million songs and hundreds of preprogrammed Prime Playlists. According to Amazon, tens of thousands of albums are included from artists like Beyonce, Pink, Madonna, Macklemore, Daft Punk and Blake Shelton. Plus, “we’ll be adding more music all the time,” Amazon said.
Steve Boom, Amazon’s vice president of digital music, said the service will pay for itself and isn’t part of the reason why the company raised the price of Prime from $79 in March — a move Amazon said would cover higher shipping costs. Instead, the company will benefit because Prime members tend to buy more from Amazon and remain loyal customers.
“If they come to Amazon for their music needs, they become better and longer-term Amazon customers and we think that’s a good thing,” Boom said.
Prime Music can be used on any computer, Kindle Fire tablet and Apple and Android devices. At first blush, it sounds pretty great. But The Huffington Post said it’s really just a so-so service.
You won’t be able to hear any hot new hits on Prime Music. It won’t have any new songs or albums until they are at least six months old, Buzzfeed reported.
I often listen to the free version of Pandora on my iPhone, but it includes ads, which I don’t like but have tolerated until now because it’s free. I’m already an Amazon Prime member so I’m excited to give Prime Music a try.
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