Amazon's long-rumored standalone music streaming service is finally official. Amazon Music Unlimited looks to offer the millions of songs and ad-free playback of competitors such as Spotify and Apple Music, though you can get it for as cheap as $3.99 per month depending on which Amazon products you already use.
Like most major streaming services, Music Unlimited starts at $9.99 per month, though that price goes down to $7.99 if you're a Prime member. If you're fine with only listening to your music on one device, you can get the $3.99 Echo plan, which lets you listen to every song the service has to offer on a single Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Dot, or Amazon Tap. There's also an upcoming $14.99 family plan for up to six members, which is on par with Apple Music but broader than Spotify's five-member plan.
Content-wise, Music Unlimited seems to offer everything you'd expect from a paid streaming program. You get "tens of millions of songs," ad-free listening, and the ability download and play your music offline. After quickly perusing the service's web client, it looks like you'll also be able to upload your own music to your cloud library, much like you can with Google Play Music.
It's unclear what this new service means for Prime Music, which comes standard with an Amazon Prime subscription. Prime Music is still listed as having "two million" songs compared to Music Unlimited's "tens of millions," so Amazon may be betting on customers paying an extra fee for a more robust music library. The Music Unlimited homepage advertises such artists as Frank Ocean, Metallica and Shawn Mendez, all of whom I was able to find in the Amazon Music app after starting my free trial.
So, is Music Unlimited a good deal? If you're an Amazon junkie, then probably. The Prime-only price of $7.99 is solid for a service that seems competitive with Spotify and Apple, though that's assuming you want more than the millions of songs that you're already getting with Prime Music.
The $3.99 Echo-only deal could be the real selling point, but it may only reach a small group of customers who are content with doing most of their listening at home. After all, the real draw of an unlimited music service is to carry a massive library of songs with you anywhere you go -- not being stuck listening to them on a single kitchen speaker.