Amazon just made a significant move in the streaming market, via its Prime shopping and entertainment subscription service.
Amazon is expanding its music offering for Prime members, by giving them access to a full catalog of 100 million songs in shuffle mode – up from 2 million – at no additional cost to their current membership.
Amazon says that it has more than 200 million paid Prime members around the world, who, in addition to music listening, get access to Prime Video, Prime Gaming, more than 1,000 books and magazines with Prime Reading, and shopping perks such faster delivery on orders.
In the US, an Amazon Prime membership is priced at $14.99 per month, or $139 per year. In the UK, Amazon Prime membership fees are £8.99 per month or £95 per year.
Amazon says that Prime members can now “shuffle play” any artist, album, or playlist in the catalog ad free, as well as stream personalized playlists and download them for offline listening.
The tech giant’s move to open its 100m song catalog up to Prime members for no additional cost, albeit in shuffle mode only, comes as music streaming players try to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive market.
Amazon also offers the Amazon Music Unlimited tier, which includes on-demand access to albums, playlists, over 100 million songs in HD, and what it says is “a growing catalog” of songs in Ultra HD and Spatial audio.
Prime members also get access to what Amazon claims is the “largest catalog of ad-free top podcasts”.
Starting now, Prime members can listen to podcasts ad-free and on-demand, including shows like the +44 Podcast, binge-worthy podcasts from Wondery including British Scandal, Who Killed Daphne, SmartLess, Morbid, My Favorite Murder and Even the Rich, and Amazon Exclusive shows including Three Little Words, Built To Thrive and the MrBallen Podcast: Strange, Dark & Mysterious Stories.
The expansion of the music offering for Amazon’s Prime members comes a few months after the company increased the prices of two of its key streaming music plans in multiple markets (on May 5 this year).
The first of those plans was the Amazon Music Unlimited Individual Plan – i.e. all-you-can-eat, on-demand streaming – for customers who are additionally Amazon Prime members.
Prime members were previously able to subscribe to this plan in the US for $7.99 per month. From May, this price point increased to $8.99 per month.
Individual Prime Members in the States are able to take out an annual subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited for $89 per year, up from $79 per year.
Amazon also increased the price of the Amazon Music Unlimited Individual Plan (for Prime members) in the US, the UK, and Canada.
The price of Amazon Music Unlimited for customers without an Amazon Prime membership is currently $9.99 per month in the US.
Amazon Music rival Apple Music recently increased the price of its individual Apple Music subscription by $1 to $10.99 per month.
Spotify, the largest subscription streaming service with 195 million subscribers as of Q3, is also considering raising its prices, following increases from its rivals.
“We can’t wait for members to experience not only a massively expanded catalogue of songs, but also the largest selection of ad-free top podcasts anywhere, at no additional cost to their membership.”
Steve Boom, Amazon Music
Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music said: “When Amazon Music first launched for Prime members, we offered an ad-free catalogue of 2 million songs, which was completely unique for music streaming at the time.
“We continue to innovate on behalf of our customers, and to bring even more entertainment to Prime members, on top of the convenience and value they already enjoy.
“We can’t wait for members to experience not only a massively expanded catalog of songs, but also the largest selection of ad-free top podcasts anywhere, at no additional cost to their membership.”Music Business Worldwide