Amazon today introduced Amazon Music Unlimited, an on-demand music service with voice control offering tens of millions of songs and thousands of hand-curated playlists and personalized stations. The new service will cost $7.99/month or $79/year (which equals $6.58/month) for Prime members or $9.99/month for non-Prime customers. However, Amazon Echo owners (who are Prime members) can access Amazon’s new music service for $4/month per Echo speaker. Remember, these prices are on top of Amazon’s $99/year Prime membership.
Prime members could already stream music included with their AmazonPrime membership. That service is known as Amazon Music (without Unlimited) and will continue to be a free benefit for Prime members. The new Amazon Music Unlimited service expands the available catalog from 2 million to over 10 million songs and over one thousand hand-curated playlists and personalized stations.
Echo owners could already use voice commands to play and control music. The new paid service claims to further improve upon Alexa’s natural language ability and uses machine learning to improve recommendations and personalization over time. Although it is unclear if Alexa’s voice improvements will be available to non-unlimited-members that can access the smaller selection of Amazon music. In any case, here are some new ways you might talk to Alexa:
- Ready to listen to Sia? Just ask, “Alexa, play Sia” and Alexa will create a playlist of Sia’s most popular songs
- Want to hear the latest hit by Green Day? Just ask, “Alexa, play Green Day’s new song” and Alexa will play their latest single, “Bang Bang”
- Have words to a song stuck in your head but can’t remember the name of the song? All you have to do is say a few words and Alexa will play the song. For example, just ask, “Alexa, play the song that goes, ‘I was doing just fine before I met you’” and Alexa will play, “Closer” by The Chainsmokers
- Want to re-live the music from your college days? You can ask Alexa to play hit music from a decade or a specific year or month. Just ask, “Alexa, play the most popular rock from the 90s” and Alexa will take you back in time
- Feeling down and need a pick-me-up? Just ask, “Alexa play ‘Happy Music’” and Alexa will choose a playlist based on your listening history like “Feel-Good Indie,” “R&B Fun” or “Pop To Make you Feel Better”
- Want to listen to early catalog from a favorite artist? Just ask, “Alexa, play Van Halen from the 70s” and Alexa will play tracks from the LA rockers’ first couple of albums
- Having friends over? Just ask, “Alexa, play music for a dinner party” and Alexa will choose a playlist based on your listening history like “Dinner With Friends,” “Cooking With 90s Hip-Hop” or “Indie Dinner Party”
- Want to be surprised? Just ask, “Alexa, play the Song of the Day” to hear a song picked daily by Amazon Music editors. Song of the Day also features a DJ intro with fun facts about the song and an outro with suggestions for further listening
- Not sure what to play? Just ask, “Alexa, play music” and Alexa will find something personalized just for you
Amazon Music on Alexa also brings fans and artists closer together with behind-the-scenes artist commentary about their music, called Side-by-Sides. Customers can simply ask, “Alexa, play Side-by-Side with OneRepublic” and Ryan Tedder will play and comment on songs from OneRepublic’s latest album Oh My My. Side-by-Sides are available exclusively on Amazon Music from top artists such as The Chainsmokers, Jason Aldean, Lindsey Stirling, Norah Jones, OneRepublic and Kongos – with more being added all the time.
Amazon is offering an exclusive “for Echo” subscription plan for only $3.99/month, with full access to Amazon Music Unlimited on a single Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap. To start a free trial to the “for Echo” plan, just ask “Alexa, start my Music Unlimited free trial.” If you decide later that you want to enjoy Amazon Music Unlimited on multiple devices, including Fire devices, iOS, Android, Web, PC, Mac, Sonos and more, it’s easy to upgrade to a standard plan for an additional $4.00/month for Prime members ($6.00/month non-Prime customers).
The Amazon Music app has been redesigned with a beautiful, new interface that emphasizes artist images and album art and puts music discovery and playback front and center. Key features of the app include “Home,” which showcases selections by Amazon Music editors to help customers stay up-to-date on the music they love and what’s trending and popular; “Recommended,” where customers can find personalized music suggestions powered by Amazon’s recommendation technology; and “Now Playing,” where synchronized lyrics make it easy to follow along to your favorite music. The Amazon Music app is available on Fire devices, iOS, Android, Web, PC and Mac.
A new “For Family” subscription plan will be coming 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 later in 2016.
To learn more about Amazon Music Unlimited or start listening visit www.amazon.com/AmazonMusicUnlimited.