Amazon announced today that all current Prime subscribers can now access the entire Amazon Music catalog for free. The service, which consists of over 100 million songs, is now completely available to anyone with a Prime subscription. But there’s a catch: you can only play music on shuffle.
That concept, while a dealbreaker for some, isn’t all that big a deal to those who just want a way to play some tunes. Amazon is even sweetening the deal a bit: certain playlists on Amazon Music will let you pick a song to play on-demand, and they can be saved offline for when you don’t have an internet connection. Plus, you don’t get any ads in between songs, which instantly makes it more appealing than Spotify’s free tier.
It’s a huge play on Amazon’s part to draw users to Amazon Music. The company has made efforts in recent years to grow its subscriber base and better compete with Spotify and Apple Music. It costs $9 per month for an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription, and with it comes on-demand and offline playback, hi-fi streaming, and spatial audio support. If none of that appeals to you, the new free version of Amazon Music may, especially since it comes bundled with Prime.
“When Amazon Music first launched for Prime members, we offered an ad-free catalog of 2 million songs, which was completely unique for music streaming at the time,” said Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music. “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.”
In addition, certain podcasts will go ad-free for Prime subscribers beginning today. Shows from CNN,NPR, The New York Times, and ESPN are included, as well as the Wondery catalog of podcasts which Amazon acquired in 2020. There’s also a new Podcast Previews feature launching which lets users “easily preview a short, digestible soundbite from a podcast episode, allowing them to quickly discover and find new podcasts through simple swipes.” The feature only works with certain shows for now, but it’ll expand over time.