Music Business

Don’t Be Fooled: The Truth Behind Amazon Music Unlimited’s Price

Amazon-Music-Unlimited-300x164 (1)With Amazon having finally released their long awaited stand-alone streaming service, the $7.99 sticker price seems to be bucking an industry trend by offering consumers unlimited streaming for less, but the figure is deceptive.


Guest Post by Bobby Owsinski on Music 3.0

Amazon has finally launched it’s long awaited stand-alone streaming music service and it’s called Amazon Music Unlimited. On the surface it has a number of interesting features that differentiate it from the other major streaming services, but one has to wonder whether potential users will find them compelling enough to subscribe.

Perhaps the service’s biggest feature is price. If you’re already an Amazon Prime customer, Amazon Music Unlimited is available for just $7.99 per month or $79 per year, undercutting the norm of $9.99 per month charged by most other services. If you’re not a Prime customer however, you’ll still be charged the customary $9.99 per month.


If you happen to own an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap device, the price is even lower at $3.99 per month, but music playback only works on that device. If you want to receive the full Amazon Music service on your phone, for instance, you’ll still need to pony up for the full Unlimited tier at either $7.99 monthly if you’re a Prime member, or $9.99 if you’re not.

On the surface this seems pretty interesting in that a lower price for streaming is what major industry consultants have been advising for years. Even back at the peak of the CD boom, the average music buyer never purchased $120 worth of music per year, as is the case now with a $9.99 per month streaming plan. Though there’s been a decent amount of streaming penetration at that price point, it’s still only 10% or less in some territories, according to industry pundit Mark Mulligan. Potential subscribers that might not ever buy at $9.99 are more likely to change their minds if that monthly threshold was lower.

That’s why Amazon Music Unlimited’s $7.99 per month price point looks so inviting. It’s a step in bringing that monthly fee more in line with the expectations of the greatest number of users.

The problem is that this price is really a mirage.

You have to be an Amazon Prime member in order to have access to the $7.99 price, and this is after you’ve already payed $99 for your Amazon Prime subscription for the year. And, as a Prime member, you already have Amazon’s Prime Music service available to you for free, so why would you want to pay the extra 8 bucks a month for something that you’ve already paid for?

To be fair, Amazon Music Unlimited is different from Prime Music in a number of ways. There are a lot more songs available (Amazon will only say its in the “tens of millions” as compared to Prime Music’s two million), there are curated playlists, behind-the-scenes artist commentaries, and a new app. Is that worth the extra money per month? It will be interesting to see just how many of the estimated 60 million Prime members say, “Yes it is!” [Read more on Forbes]

Share on:


  1. Interesting that my amazon prime music has now disappeared from the newly updated app. Now I see why. So there is a mistake above: prime members don’t still get it for free. It’s been taken away.

  2. In addition you can download your music to offline play. Can’t do that with Prime Music. Your premise is incorrect as my Prime is for two day shipping as well as reduced cost product with Prime Music a cherry on top. Just like Prime reading isn’t going to cause me to not pay for my Amazon Unlimited reading on my Kindle. I pay for Amazon Unlimited Music now and canceled my Spotify.

  3. I haven’t signed up for it and still download songs on my Amazon app. I use an iPhone even. Haven’t signed up for unlimited, but I might to get the extra music. But it’s needed.

  4. No it hasn’t been taken away. It’s still there, exactly the same service as it has been. The “unlimited” version just has more songs available

  5. One correction to your article. Amazon Prime music only covers certain songs/albums. In other words, with Prime you can only listen to Prime music for free. The Unlimited Music for 7.99 allows you to listen to ALL music, not just Prime.

  6. How? All I see in the music app are the unlimited songs. And the prime music link online only shows ads for unlimited. ????

  7. You can download music for offline play with prime music as well. I only have prime and that’s what I do on my phone.

  8. As far as downloading music on Amazon Music Unlimited let’s not forget that you can only download all that music to your phone—-not your PC! I still have not been able to figure out where all this additional music is although I was a little surprised to find “Yes” well represented!

  9. So, I have had these playlists, that I made, and that I have been listening to for about 3 years and BOOM outta the blue I can’t listen to them anymore because I’m not PAYING Amazon 10 bucks a month?!? You can’t just drop that on someone right before the holidays. That freakin SUCKS!! I got no warning or notification that all my playlists were going bye-bye!! We should just go back to cds. At least that way, when you bought something, you kept it.

    1. Just buy cd’s at used prices from amazon! Rip them to whatever devices you use and they are YOURS!!!!!

Comments are closed.