Amazon Prime is a full-featured subscription service to begin with –though the recent addition of Prime Music sweetens the pot considerably. Consider Prime Music as an extension to the old Amazon MP3 service –comprised of 3 functions: a library of all the tracks you own, a store where you are able to buy new music, and a place to listen to new music and discover new favourites (think of it like an elaborate and customized radio station of your very own).
Is it any better than competitors like Google Play Music or Spotify? While your mileage may vary, Prime Music really isn’t anything special. All of the usual features are present (download tracks automatically when you purchase, customize your playback with an on-screen equalizer, and set your preferences for downloading over 3G/LTE versus WiFi for streaming or saving for offline listening).
So what are the strengths? Amazon Prime includes more than a million songs to choose from, there are no ads to contend with, no restrictions on the number of songs you skip or repeat, and there are plenty of playlists (created by experts and categorized in a meaningful way, with examples like: Feel Good Country, 50 Great Epic Classic Rock Songs, 80’s Dance Floor Fillers, and 90’s Pop Workout).
Initial reviews are mixed, but one thing is for certain: Amazon is taking a play from Apple’s book. As they bring more content and more features into their fold, Amazon increases brand loyalty and decreases the need for users to go elsewhere for anything on their mobile devices. If you are using Amazon Prime for other services like television (and fast shipping), why would you pay for something else in addition to handle your music? Each function of Prime may not be the best, but chance are good that for the average user they are good enough.
Amazon Prime comes with a 30-day free trial (meaning you really have nothing to lose by giving it a shot). After your trial period expires, $99USD per year buys you an all-access pass.