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Amazon Launches Prime Music

8426787137_169a12003c_m[1]Amazon’s long-rumored Prime Music service is now live, and the service is pretty much what everyone is expecting.

In addition to free streaming video, free and discounted shipping, free ebooks, and free ebook loans, Amazon Prime members can now stream music as part of their $99 a year subscription. Amazon is offering a catalog of around a million tracks including songs from Sony and Warner Music, two of the three major labels, but not (reportedly) Universal.

That is far more limited selection than at Spotify, but TBF there is no reason to compare the service given that Amazon Prime Music is bundled into Prime. This service was never going to be a threat to Spotify any more than Kindle Owners Lending Library is a threat to Scribd and Oyster.

It’s not clear what terms Amazon negotiated with the major labels, but the NYTimes reported that Amazon is paying the smaller labels and indies from a pool of $5 million which is split based on the number of times each track is played. As you might recall, previous rumors suggested that Amazon was funding the entire service from a $20 million to $30 million pool which was going to be paid out in much the same way as Amazon currently splits KDP Select among indie authors.

amazon prime music

While this service may lack new releases, but Amazon is doing their best to overcome its limitations. Rather than focus on tracks, they’re building the service on playlists with the goal of keeping you from hunting for a song and not finding it.

That’s a good idea on Amazon’s part, and once Amazon Prime Music is operational I’m sure it’s going to prove a good source of music.

But at the moment the service is unavailable. While the website is up and running, I can’t actually get it to stream any songs. I’m not sure whether the service crashed under the load or simply hasn’t been turned on yet, but as I sit here writing this post it is nonoperational.

That is an annoyance, but it’s not a big deal. I’ll just go back to my preferred free streaming music service, Youtube.





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DaveZ June 12, 2014 um 7:39 am

Been playing on my iPhone over an hour now – listening to the 50 90’s alternative playlist.

fjtorres June 12, 2014 um 8:57 am

It works through their MP3 app apparently.
I haven’t use their system much so I don’t remember if they have a browser app.

It does give their Phone something to highlight next week.

Rob Siders June 12, 2014 um 9:08 am

It was a nice surprise this morning. When I want streaming music I use iTunes Radio. When I want to listen to the music I own I use Amazon Cloud Player (my wife is one of those weirdos who still buys CDs so the AutoRip feature is fantastic!). While iTunes has gotten better over the years, I still find to be a lousy app. Hopefully, Amazon Music can finally let me turn off iTunes altogether and use it just for the iDevices I have that still need it.

Riva June 12, 2014 um 11:50 am

I’ve been listening all morning. Sure made the day go by quickly!

You’ve got to go to your Music Library (from the My Account drop down) at least once before the streaming works. At least, that’s what seemed to get it for me.

Nate Hoffelder June 12, 2014 um 12:02 pm

I thought I had clicked through to my Music Library. Let me go try it again.

Nate Hoffelder June 12, 2014 um 12:05 pm

Okay, I had tried that already. It didn’t work the second time around, either.

kalel666 June 13, 2014 um 11:11 am

Cannot for the life of me get anything to play. Not sure what the problem is.

Nate Hoffelder June 13, 2014 um 12:44 pm

It still won’t work for me.

Anne June 13, 2014 um 1:27 pm

Which device(s) are you guys using?

My phone (S4) app updated Amazon MP3 to Amazon music and that’s working for me.

Amazon Cloud Player updated on my PC and that’s also working.

I forgot to check my tablet last night so will hopefully remember to do it tonight.

BTW, I’m loving it so far.

Nate Hoffelder June 13, 2014 um 1:28 pm

The website. I tend not to install apps unless I have to.

Anne June 13, 2014 um 2:10 pm

Ok, that was the first place I tried it and it worked for me yesterday and it’s still fine.

1. Under your account go to your music library.

2. Under any of your personal playlists, there should be a prime playlist. I just added crazy things there yesterday when I was playing with it but they were all there.

3. I just added a prime album rather than a playlist to my account. It is showing under albums on my phone, cloud player and the website. I don’t see anything that marks it as prime? I also just added a prime song and it went under songs.

Maybe it was the particular item(s) you added? That sounds weird to me because I was not being very selective at all yesterday and everything seemed to work fine. I have some rather unusual music (for me) streaming from the website right now. One of those days when it’s good to be the boss.

Nate Hoffelder June 13, 2014 um 2:29 pm

I tried it on my Kindle Fire HD. It works there, but that doesn’t help me because I think I would much rather stream the music from my laptop (background music).

And I finally figured out the reason it wasn’t working. Amazon’s website was in conflict with one of my anti-tracking plugins. I listed Amazon as an exception and now it works.

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