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Amazon Music Unlimited launches in the UK

By | Published on Monday 14 November 2016

Amazon Music Unlimited

Amazon’s shift into full-on streaming music has landed in the UK, just one month after it’s grand launch Stateside.

As previously reported, unlike Amazon’s existing streaming music service within its Prime package, which only offers access to a couple of million tracks, Amazon Music Unlimited is more in line with Spotify and Apple Music, boasting around 40 million tunes.

At a basic level, Amazon Music Unlimited operates at the same price point as its rivals in the streaming music market – so £9.99 a month for the UK (which, despite the recent slump in the good old pound, still means Brits pay more for streams than the Americans, who pay $9.99). However, Amazon Music UnLimited also offers other options.

Prime customers can sign up for £7.99 a month, which is a more upfront expression of the discounts applied by other streaming services when they are bundled with other products like mobile accounts. But more importantly, Amazon Music Unlimited also offers a bargain-basement £3.99 a month option for those only seeking to stream at home, and willing to do so only via Amazon’s proprietary Echo wi-fi speaker system.

Amazon’s relatively speedy UK launch of Music Unlimited makes sense, given this could be a good Christmas for sales of the popular Echo device, and it’s beneficial for both Amazon and the music industry to be trying to upsell a streaming subscription at the same time. And with the economy Echo Dot only £49.99, that means Amazon can offer consumers a fun little interactive device and a year of music for under £100.

The arrival of Amazon’s streaming music offer will put pressure on start-up Electric Jukebox, which also offers a cheaper subscription streaming option locked to one home-listening device, in that case the TV. Although the celebrity-backed Electric Jukebox claims to be easier to set up – and is promising an ad-funded free option for those who don’t want to pay for streams beyond one year – it is generally offering less than the Amazon product at a similar price point, and without the marketing platform of its bigger rival.