Amazon Music Unlimited launched in the US

Amazon have introduced Amazon Music Unlimited, currently only available in the US but coming to the UK before the end of the year.

Prime Music is a benefit of an Amazon Prime Membership and has a growing selection of two million songs, always ad-free and on-demand. The new Amazon Music Unlimited unlocks tens of millions of songs and weekly new releases but there’s a fee to pay, most of which will end up going to the record companies as royalties.

An exclusive “for Echo” subscription plan is available for only $3.99/month with full access to Amazon Music Unlimited. If however you want to listen on devices other than Amazon Echo, then the cost is $7.99/month or $79/year for Prime members. The cost is $9.99/month for non-Prime customers.

The price point looks pretty attractive if you’re comparing with say Spotify, but don’t forget you’re only getting $3.99 for Echo or $7.99 for all devices AND already cough up for Amazon Prime at $99/year. For full access you’re into Amazon for best part of $180/year, although there are plenty of other Amazon Prime benefits to soften the blow.

Echo is key to Amazon’s Music Unlimited strategy, with the advanced machine learning of Alexa, the Amazon Music experience will become more conversational and personalized all the time. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says “ask Alexa for a free Music Unlimited trial, and play around on your Echo. If you don’t know the name of a song but know a few lyrics, if you want to hear songs from a specific decade, or even if you’re looking for music to match your mood, just ask“.

Of course it’s going to be a right nuisance for Echo users who subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited and then find they’ve only got 2 million songs on Amazon Music’s all-new app for iOS, Android and desktop. Sooner or later you’re going to look at your $3.99/month subscription and out of sheer frustration upgrade to $7.99/month to listen on all of your devices.

Just in case $7.99/month isn’t enough to pay, Amazon are already planning for you to cough up a few more dollars with a new “For Family” subscription plan coming later this year, allowing up to six family members simultaneous access to Amazon Music Unlimited for $14.99/month or $149/year.

Amazon Music Unlimited also will be available for customers in the U.K., Germany and Austria before the end of the year.