Amazon's much anticipated on-demand music streaming service has entered the stage. The company is rehashing its Prime Music service as Amazon Music Unlimited, entering a market crowded with big names such as Apple Music, Google Play Music and Spotify.
The e-vendor company made every effort to set Music Unlimited apart from its rivals, with a focus on affordability. The service is open to Amazon Prime members for a monthly subscription of $7.99 or $79 per year, making it cheaper than Apple Music's and Spotify's premium options.
What is more, Amazon fans who already own a voice-controlled Echo gadget can subscribe to Music Unlimited for only $3.99 per month.
Essentially, Amazon Music Unlimited resembles every other rival service: it brings a huge palette of songs to choose from and features a recommendations engine that unveils new music. It gives users both hand-made and algorithmic playlists, and has apps that play nice with iOS, Android, Sonos, desktop computers, as well as Amazon's Echo gadgets and Fire tablets.
Amazon points out that the integration between the Alexa voice assistant and Music Unlimited will tilt the scales in its favor, showing its superiority to the likes of Spotify.
Users are able to ask Alexa to tap into Music Unlimited's library in a myriad of ways, with a simple voice request. Users can voice search for a specific artist, album or song, or even ask Alexa to stream the "latest song" from their favorite band. What is more, users may tell Alexa some lyrics and it will identify the corresponding track based on them.
Amazon also touts that the service will learn from its interaction with each user. For example, should you have a history of listening to rap and R&B and you request Alexa for some workout music, you can rest assured that you will not hear metal.
For most people, Amazon's Music Unlimited will take the cake in terms of affordability.
Prime members who opt for the yearly plan will end up paying a monthly $6.58, much less than the cost of rival services. For non-Prime members, the monthly cost is identical to that of Apple Music, which is $9.99 per month.
Amazon promises that a family account option is in tow, and it is planning to ask $14.99 per month or $149 per year for it. This sum matches those asked by Google, Apple and Spotify.
The single caveat is that the Echo-only plan is restricted to only one device. This means users can only tap into it on one device at a time, regardless if we are talking phone, tablet, Echo device or PC.
Reports from earlier this year indicated that Amazon is baking not one, but two music streaming services. Until the second one lands, we plan to enjoy Music Unlimited's multi-featured potential and rich library.
Are you excited about the affordable music service from Amazon? Let us know in the comments section.