One of the many benefits of being an Amazon Prime member has been free access to streaming 2 million songs in the Amazon Music library. That advantage just got juicier with today’s announcement that the company is making its entire Amazon Music library available to Prime members, increasing the number of streamable songs from 2 million up to 100 million, all ad-free.
Along with a vastly expanded music library, Prime subscribers will get 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 & Mysterious Stories, Baby, this is Keke Palmerand podcasts from CNN, ESPN and The New York Times.
The new additions come without an accompanying increase in the price of an Amazon Prime membership. “We continue to innovate on behalf of our customers and to bring even more entertainment to Prime members, in addition to the convenience and value they already enjoy,” said Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music, in the company’s release.
Prime subscribers will be able to browse the expanded offerings in an updated Amazon Music app, which gets improvements like a Podcast Preview feature. On the music front, new discovery features are being introduced to help users discover new artists based on what they like, and to stream “a collection of All-Access playlists tailored to personal listening preferences on demand and download them for offline listening,” according to Amazon’s release.
Analysis: Free, but with a catch – a big one
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 appealing addition, one that makes being a Prime member more rewarding than ever. It’s like getting the Spotify free tier onto your subscription, except, unlike Spotify, all those songs come ad-free.
The catch here is that you’ll only be able to play in random order by artist, album or playlist – you can’t actually select a specific song to play. To do that, you need to upgrade to a separate one 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) which will provide full, unlimited access to these 100 million songs.
Amazon Music Unlimited, which ranks high on our list of best music streaming servicesalso allows subscribers to stream music in uncompressed and high-resolution formats, along with Spatial Audio and Sony’s 360 Reality Audio on certain tracks. These highly valuable extras aren’t given to Amazon Prime members for free, although it could be argued that the average non-audio enthusiast Prime member wouldn’t really care.
But even without things like Lossless and Spatial Audio, as well as the ability to choose a specific track to stream from the 100 million song strong Amazon Music library, an Amazon Prime membership looks better than ever.
For $14.99 / £8.99 per month (opens in a new tab) or $139 / £95 per year, you get free fast shipping, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows, ad-free podcasts, Prime Gaming3,000 plus books and magazines with Prime Reading, and unlimited photo storage on Amazon images. It’s great value for money. Amazon clearly wants to keep us in its rich ecosystem, and free access to a lot more music is just another way to do that.