One of the many benefits of Amazon Prime membership is free streaming access to 2 million songs in the Amazon Music library. That benefit just got even juicier with today’s announcement that the company is making the entire Amazon Music library available to Prime members, increasing the number of streamable songs from 2 million to 100 million, all with no ads.
In addition to a vastly expanded music library, Prime subscribers get access to “the largest catalog of ad-free podcasts,” according to Amazon. The list includes shows from the Wondery catalog, which Amazon acquired in 2020, such as: dr. Dead, smartless, and Even the rich. Also available for ad-free streaming are Amazon Exclusives such as MrBallen Podcast: Strange, Dark & Mysterious Stories, Honey, this is Keke Palmerand podcasts from CNN, ESPN, and The New York Times.
The new additions come without an accompanying increase in the price of an Amazon Prime membership. “We continue to innovate on behalf of our customers, bringing even more entertainment to Prime members, on top of the convenience and value they already enjoy,” said Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music, in the company’s release.
Prime subscribers can browse the extensive offerings in an updated Amazon music app, which gets improvements such as a Podcast Previews feature. On the music front, new discovery features are introduced to help users find new artists based on their preferences, as well as “stream a collection of All-Access playlists tailored to personalized listening preferences on demand and download them for offline listening.” “, according to Amazon’s release.
Analysis: Free, but with a catch – a big one
There’s no doubt that increasing the number of free-to-stream songs in the Amazon Music library from 2 million to 100 million is a very attractive addition, one that makes being a Prime member more rewarding than ever. It’s like getting the free Spotify tier on your subscription, except unlike Spotify, all those songs come without ads.
The pitfall here is that you can only shuffle by artist, album, or playlist – you can’t really select a specific song to play. To do that, you need to upgrade to a separate Amazon Music Unlimited subscription ($9.99 / £9.99 / AU$11.99 per month, or $7.99 / £7.99 / AU$6.99 per month with an existing Amazon Prime subscription) that includes full, unlimited provides access to those 100 million songs.
Amazon Music Unlimited, which is high on our list of the best music streaming servicesalso lets subscribers stream music in high-resolution, uncompressed formats along with Spatial audio and Sony’s 360 Reality Audio on certain tracks. Those very valuable extras aren’t provided for free to Amazon Prime members, although one could argue that the average Prime member who doesn’t like audio doesn’t really care.
But even without things like Lossless and Spatial Audio, and the ability to select a specific song to stream from Amazon Music’s 100 million song library, an Amazon Prime membership looks better than ever.
For $14.99 / £8.99 (opens in new tab) / € 6.99 (opens in new tab) per month or $139 / £95 / AU$59 (opens in new tab) per year you get free fast shipping, unlimited streaming of movies and tv shows, podcasts without ads, Prime Gamingover 3000 books and magazines with Prime Reading and unlimited photo storage on Amazon Photos (this is only 5 GB in Australia though). That’s a lot for the money. Amazon clearly wants to keep us in its rich ecosystem, and free access to much more music is just one more way to make that happen.