In Brief: Amazon Launches Prime Music Service

By Norman Chan

Free for anyone with an Amazon Prime subscription.

Late last night, Amazon stealthily launched Prime Music, the rumored free streaming service for Prime members. Over 1 million songs are touted for free streaming, though those don't include songs from the Universal Music Group's library, nor many new hits. The launch of the service is accompanied by new streaming apps for iOS and Android (Cloud Player renamed to Amazon Music), which promise offline playback as well. As of right now, only the iOS version of the app is available. Prime subscriptions stay at $100 (for now), but it's easy to see Amazon using these value-adds (including Prime video and Kindle Prime Eligible) as a way to eventually raise the price of its Prime service. It's about changing the mindset of what of "Prime" entails, and using the costly two-day free shipping as a way to move into Netflix and Spotify's business. This likely won't get people to quit Spotify or Rdio (or even Beats Music) just yet, though it's likely that many of the 20 million+ existing Prime subscribers aren't already subscribed to a separate music streaming service.