All of Amazon’s Different Music Services, Explained

Amazon offers free music streaming with Prime, a paid music service for an additional monthly fee, direct MP3 sales, a way to get MP3s when you purchase audio CDs, and a music locker you can upload your own songs to. That’s a lot to keep track of! Here are all of Amazon’s confusing music services, explained.

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Prime Music: Free Streaming With Amazon Prime

If you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you have access to Prime Music for no additional fee. Prime Music offers over two million songs you can stream without any advertisements. It’s a bit like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music All Access, and similar services. It’s just less expensive and has a much smaller catalog.

You can play this music from Amazon Music in your web browser, on the Amazon Music app for iPhone and Android, or by telling Alexa to play it on an Amazon Echo. You’ll be able to search the free selections of songs and listen to radio stations from here.

(Your Amazon Prime subscription also provides you with free access to “original audio series” via Audible Channels. The rest of Audible is a separate audiobook store owned by Amazon.)

Amazon Music Unlimited: A Larger Streaming Library for a Monthly Fee

Amazon Music Unlimited is Amazon’s real competitor to services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music All Access. You get a much larger catalog of unlimited, ad-free streaming music than the one included with Prime Music. Amazon claims the catalog has tens of millions of songs, and it should be similar to other music streaming services.

To get this additional music, you have to pay an additional fee. Multiple plans are available:

  • Echo Plan: Access to Amazon Music Unlimited via Alexa on a single Amazon Echo, Dot, or Tap will cost you $3.99 a month.
  • Individual Plan: A Prime member can pay either $7.99 a month or $79 per year to gain access to Amazon Music Unlimited. This enables access on all your devices, including web browsers and smartphones. You’d have to pay $9.99 per…