Amazon's new Prime Music is here, a streaming service that's "free" to Amazon Prime subscribers only. If you're wondering if Spotify users will switch over then you're on the wrong track. Having watched Amazon grow what's now called Amazon Prime Video I know that what we're seeing today is just the beginning and that Amazon's focus is on the long-term. It's a bigger play than killing Spotify because it's one small piece of a much bigger empire.
Amazon Prime Music: The Basics
Amazon's Prime Music is now available for Amazon Prime subscribers (free 30 day trial, $99 annual fee). Subscribers get "unlimited, ad-free streaming of over a million songs and hundreds of playlists."
The music is a mix of new and old though it's claimed that they don't have anything released in the last 6 months which looks to be true. The overall feel is predominantly older, especially the playlists, but there are current major releases as well.
View of an Amazon Prime Member
I subscribed to Amazon Prime for delivery services. I didn't ask for streaming videos, checkout ebooks or streaming music. It's weird to have a new "free" service introduced as they're hiking the price by $20.
Yet being an Amazon Prime subscriber allowed me to track the progress of their streaming video platform and they've come a long ways in terms of both tech and content. I've dropped my Netflix streaming service for enough months here and there due to new content on Amazon, especially tv series, that I've already covered the price hike.
So Amazon's Prime Instant Video has grown on me. Perhaps knowing that I can legally stream specific albums without ads and without having to sign up for anything else will cause me to revisit some music from my youth. And that's just one example of how Amazon can suck a consumer deeper into their world.
The Bigger Picture
Amazon Prime is a limited offering designed to set the stage for long-term development by Amazon which can gradually grow this thing regardless of what any competitor does, many of whom will be dead before decade's end while Amazon will just be getting started.
Always remember: Amazon's plan is to own as much of the retail, subscription and related pies as possible and they're willing to take years to do it. As with Google, we're at the beginning of a major narrative that dwarfs an industry sector like streaming music.
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