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Amazon Prime Music streaming service launches in the US

By | Published on Thursday 12 June 2014

Amazon Prime Music

Amazon has launched its much talked about streaming music service in the US, offering access to “over a million songs” to its Amazon Prime customers (1,192,003, to be exact). However, it has seemingly launched without a deal with Universal in place.

Amazon Prime Music joins Amazon Instant Video as an add-on to the company’s Prime next day delivery service. And you can argue about the devaluation of music all you like, but when it’s given away for free with a next day delivery service, that proves it’s worth something, right? Right?

Anyway, the streaming service offers ad-free access to a relatively small catalogue of songs (compared to the likes of Spotify, et al), which is shrunk further by the absence of any Universal material.

The small catalogue isn’t just down to licensing issues though. The music it offers seems deliberately curated, with playlists pushed up front when you log in, before a selection of popular albums, such as Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’ and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ ‘The Heist’, and tracks.

Like with Amazon Prime Instant Video, upselling downloads is a prominent part of the service, with physical versions also receiving a small push. Individual songs, playlists and albums can also be added to Amazon’s Cloud Player digital locker service, along with purchased digital tracks.

The service certainly seems to be going for a mainstream audience, and one which is perhaps less comfortable with the idea of access-over-ownership. Tapping this market is perhaps a shrewd move, potentially hoovering up the less engaged music consumers who are put off by the vastness of other streaming services. It may also grab some of those people yet to come over to digital music at all, who remain important for the future of the streaming sector at large.

Or, of course, it might fall somewhere in the middle and please no one. Hurrah!