While other services are adding specialty music to their service, Amazon is going the other way. Earlier this year, the company began offering a free, ad-sponsored music streaming tier on Echo speakers and other Alexa devices. Offering access to “top playlists and stations,” this free experience is different than the selection of on-demand music that you get with an Prime membership. And Music Unlimited (or HD) subscribers don’t need to worry about ads.
On Monday, the company is rolling out the free its streaming tier to customers on iPhone, iPad, Android, and it’s own Fire TV products. “Music fans will be able to play thousands of stations based on any song, artist, era, and genre; hear top global playlists; and the best in holiday tunes,” the company wrote in a blog post. You can also access the ad-sponsored tier at music.amazon.com. A Prime subscription isn’t required — nor is a credit card or billing method — but you will need an Amazon account.
Sure seems like a lot of options for streaming music nowadays. Let’s take a look at what’s out there:
- Amazon Music HD: Lossless / hi-fi version of Music Unlimited. Over 50 million songs in lossless quality, “millions” in hi-res quality.
$12.99 / month for Prime customers, $14.99 / month for non-Prime customers
- Amazon Music Unlimited: Amazon’s standard monthly subscription music service.
$7.99 / month for Prime customers, $9.99 / month for non-Prime customers
- Amazon Music Unlimited on a single device: $3.99 / month
(Limited to Echo speakers and Fire TV.)
- Amazon Prime Music: On-demand access to over 2 million songs for Prime subscribers
Included free with Prime membership.
- Amazon Music Free: Access to top playlists and “thousands” of music streaming stations. Includes audio advertisements.
Personally, with my Prime services, I have been reacquainting myself with it, which hasn’t been too bad. No commercials but not a wide selection of music. It would be on par with Pandora’s free tier. However, with all the music pay options, I think I am more inclined to stick with Apple Music.