Suddenly the music streaming party is getting a lot busier: today Amazon Music Prime has launched in the UK, in direct competition with Spotify, Jay-Z’s TIDAL and the still-fairly-new Apple Music.
Amazon launched its music streaming service in the US last year, and says it has used their database of UK Amazon user buying habits to rebuild the app specifically for customers on this side of the Atlantic.
But how does it compare to the others? We look at the key comparisons…
How much does it cost?
The major difference with Amazon’s music offering is that it comes free as part of its wider Prime service, which costs £79 per year. That means you also get access to the web giant’s film and TV streaming service, Prime Instant Video, as well as delivery perks and Kindle borrowing.
A premium account for Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music and TIDAL will all cost at least £120 per year.
How much music?
The app will enable users to stream over a million songs at no extra cost, but also allows them to combine them with the digital tracks they have purchased from Amazon in the past.
That’s well short of the other big streaming services: Apple Music boasts 37 million tracks, Spotify has 30 million and TIDAL has 25 million.
Amazon’s service will be weighted towards the most popular contemporary and classic artists (such as Bob Dylan, The Smiths and Madonna). The strategy is to appeal to the less avid music fans who wouldn’t want to shell out for a monthly streaming subscription.
Some major names, including Amy Winehouse, Abba, Katy Perry, Kanye West and Eminem – all part of the Universal Music Group – are unavailable at launch.
There will also be “hundreds of playlists hand-built by a team of music experts”, although Spotify and Apple Music have also invested heavily in music curation.
How does it work?
The streaming service will appear within the existing Amazon Music app, which is free to download. Then you’ll need to sign up to a Prime account to gain access.
Will it take off?
It’s a crowded market, but music streaming in the UK has almost doubled over the past year. And Amazon Prime Music is obviously betting on appealing to the more casual music fan as part of a cheaper offering.