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Music services are a dime a dozen these days. On the most basic level, the Pandoras of the world provide free semi-restricted access to tunes with limited selection controls. Then there’s the giants (such as TIDAL and Apple Music) that provide instant access to millions of songs, turning portable devices into massive mobile libraries of music.

Last week, Amazon announced the arrival of its new streaming service: Amazon Music Unlimited. This one is designed to compete as a giant, with a twist of convenience built around several Amazon platforms that are quickly becoming must-have staples in the consumer world.

For those of you currently paying to be an Amazon Prime member, you’re likely aware of Amazon’s Prime Music service. Prime Music offers access to roughly 2 million on-demand songs without the burden of advertisements. Prime Music Unlimited is similar, but ultimately is a completely different animal, giving on-demand access to tens of millions of songs, specialized playlists, and personalized preferences.

Prime Music Unlimited has three pricing tiers for the same core service. Non-Amazon Prime members must pay $9.99 per month, while Prime members have access to a discounted $7.99 per month (or $79 per year) fee. The kicker, however, is a radically reduced rate of $3.99 per month for owners of an Echo or Echo Dot (additional Fire, iOS, Android, Web, PC, Mac, Sonos devices can be added for $4.00 per month).

In a unique twist, Echo owners can eliminate online clicking to start their Prime Music Unlimited service by simply telling their Echo to “start my Music Unlimited free trial.” With those few words, owners will open the doors to a simple voice prompted music experience. Once initiated, Echo can be asked to create playlists, play songs by name, search for a song containing specific lyrics, play songs to fit a mood, play artist catalogs from a specific decade, or simply initiate a random songs based on previously stated preferences.

Prime Music Unlimited also offers exclusive artist access with “Side-by-Side.” This feature presents popular artists playing and commenting on their own songs. Amazon says fans can look for Side-by-Side performances by popular artists like The Chainsmokers, Norah Jones, OneRepublic, and more.




Amazon has also redesigned its Music App, outfitting it with a new interface and user friendly functionality.

“Amazon Music Unlimited brings real value to the millions of people who are already Prime members, with a choice of subscribing for only $7.99 a month or even $79 per year. Plus, customers are going to love Amazon Music’s all-new app for iOS, Android and desktop,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO. “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. 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.”

Look for the company to announce a family subscription for Muisc Unlimited later this year, allowing up to six members simultaneous access for $14.99 per month ($149 per year).


Image Credit: Amazon
 

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In a few years (or sooner) look for Prime music to go away. Or Prime members will no longer get it for "free"
 
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