Amazon launches free streaming music service just for Prime members

Amazon Prime Music

Amazon rolled out its rumored streaming music service for Prime members overnight Wednesday. Prime Music, included with the $99/year Prime membership, promises over a million songs from about 90,000 albums and hundreds of pre-made playlists. There’s little new music, and so far one of the three major record labels — Universal Music Group — isn’t participating.

The inevitable comparison is to Spotify, which Prime Music certainly isn’t: Spotify has over 20 million songs, including most new releases. On the other hand, Prime Music is ad-free and a perk Prime members didn’t have before. It’s not available as a standalone paid service. Amazon is also touting Prime Music’s advantages over non-Spotify competitors, like Pandora: “Choose exactly what you want to listen to, skip as many songs as you want, repeat your favorite song over and over again, or download music to your phone or tablet to listen offline.”

The service launches as Amazon rebrands all its music offerings under “Amazon Music,” The Verge notes, and Prime members can listen to it on the web, from the music section of the Kindle Fire HDX or HD tablet or via Android or iOS apps, after an update.

Amazon is holding an event in Seattle June 18 where it’s rumored it will announce its smartphone. At the event, we might see how music and Prime are integrated into such a device.

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