10 Things to Know About Amazon's Music Unlimited Streaming Service

 
 
Posted 2016-10-14
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    10 Things to Know About Amazon's Music Unlimited Streaming Service
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    10 Things to Know About Amazon's Music Unlimited Streaming Service

    Here's a look at the new Amazon Music Unlimited streaming service and how it might stack up against established services from Apple Music and Spotify.
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    A Streaming Service Like Apple Music
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    A Streaming Service Like Apple Music

    Amazon isn't trying to do something new or groundbreaking with Music Unlimited. Instead, the service is trying to compete on the same level as Apple Music and Spotify, delivering a streaming music experience for users to listen to any track they want at any time. However, unlike Apple Music (and like Spotify), Amazon's service works on many more platforms aside from Apple's devices.
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    Expect to Find Lots and Lots of Songs
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    Expect to Find Lots and Lots of Songs

    Amazon says that users will find "tens of millions of songs," ranging from new releases to age-old classics. It's unclear, however, whether Amazon will get some exclusives from artists. Over the last year, Apple has signed exclusivity deals with artists to get a jump on Spotify and Tidal. Amazon might want to do the same to make a dent in the competitive market.
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    There Are No Ads Built In
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    There Are No Ads Built In

    Unlike Pandora or the free Spotify, Amazon isn't offering an ad-supported option. Instead, the company will charge customers a monthly or annual fee to access its tracks. Amazon didn't say whether a free, ad-supported option might be available at some point, but since the industry is moving away from such offers, it's likely it will.
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    Alexa Controls Work With Amazon Echo
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    Alexa Controls Work With Amazon Echo

    Amazon is offering Alexa voice control support with its Music Unlimited service. However, the feature is only available on Amazon's Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Tap. The feature is designed to make it easier for users to find tracks and playlists by using their voices—and for Amazon to get more customers interested in its smart home hardware.
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    Full Offline Listening Support
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    Full Offline Listening Support

    Since this a streaming music service, users will need an internet connection to get the best experience. However, the service also comes with the ability for users to download songs to their devices for offline listening. It's a handy feature that means users won't need to be constantly connected to the internet to enjoy its tracks.
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    The Service Works Across Devices
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    The Service Works Across Devices

    Amazon was quick to note that it's not necessarily giving any single device an advantage with Music Unlimited. Music Unlimited works with Amazon's hardware, but is also available on mobile devices such as the iPhone and on PCs. Users also will find the app on wireless speakers, such as those from Sonos. Music Unlimited, in other words, will work anywhere a user might expect to see it.
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    Music Discovery Is an Important Feature
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    Music Discovery Is an Important Feature

    Amazon has baked in a music-discovery feature in the service. With it, users can find tracks that they might be interested in, as well as curated songs based on their interests. In addition, the service will come with personalized stations, so users can create different audio sets based on their interests.
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    Amazon Is Getting Into the Playlist Business, Too
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    Amazon Is Getting Into the Playlist Business, Too

    Like Spotify and Apple Music, Amazon is beefing up its support for playlists. In fact, the company says that the service is launching with "thousands of hand-curated playlists," and will continue to add more as time goes on. Playlists offer quick access to popular tracks, making their inclusion in Music Unlimited a nice one.
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    Pricing Is Better for Prime Members
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    Pricing Is Better for Prime Members

    Amazon Music Unlimited is launching for $9.99 per month for users who aren't Prime customers. Prime subscribers will get access to the service for $7.99 per month or $79 per year. Users who want a family plan will pay $14.99 per month or $149 per year. Finally, Amazon is selling an Echo plan so users can get the Alexa features in addition to those offered in its standard plans. Those customers will pay $3.99 per month for the service.
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    What's Coming Next
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    What's Coming Next

    Although Amazon said that Music Unlimited is a full-fledged service ready for widespread use now, it's launching with some promises for the future. For instance, the aforementioned family plan, which lets up to six people access the service at the same time, won't be available until later this year. Amazon also is planning to ramp up availability to other countries beyond the United States in the coming months, and likely will update its app with new features and tweaks as more users get their hands on Music Unlimited.
 

Another big company is investing heavily in the music streaming market. Amazon on Oct. 12 launched Music Unlimited, a service that will let users stream tens of millions of tracks for a monthly fee. Amazon Music Unlimited is designed to be a direct competitor to Apple Music and Spotify, offering users the opportunity to get curated tracks, listen to playlists and more. Amazon Prime subscribers' receive a slight discount on the service, which will cost $9.99 per month for a standard subscription. Those who want some extra features, including voice support via Amazon's virtual personal assistant Alexa, would also get it with Music Unlimited. Amazon Music Unlimited appears to be a fine alternative to Apple Music and Spotify, and those looking to break away from those services might want to check it out. Read through this eWEEK slide show to learn more about Amazon Music Unlimited, how it compares with competing streaming music services and why some folks are excited about the many features it delivers.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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