Amazon Launches Prime Music Streaming Service Ahead of June 18th

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Amazon Launches Prime Music Streaming Service Ahead of June 18th Event

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Amazon Music on iOS Amazon Music on iOS
Ahead of their June 18th secret event, today Amazon has announced a new Prime Music streaming service which joins Amazon Instant Video, the Kindle Owners' Lending Library and free two-day shipping as benefits for Prime members.

While the June 18th event's focus is officially a secret, many in the industry are convinced that the event is being held to unveil the long talked about Amazon smartphone, making today's announcement all the more compelling. Let me do a little tea leave reading for you. Amazon released the Kindle Fire line of devices as a virtual kiosk of sorts. Many analysts have long shown that sales of goods through tablets (especially iPads) have been quite brisk and what better way for one of the world's largest retailers to make it easy for people to purchase their wares than to put a kiosk right into their hands in the form of a tablet? But, that limits the ability of the buying public to purchase when a tablet is the only piece of Amazon hardware on the market with the browsing and media consumption capabilities which allow for an easy path to purchase. So an Amazon smartphone makes perfect sense!

Prime Music And The Secret Smartphone

Amazon Instant Video is readily available on the Fire HD and HDX, has its own app on iOS and now the Prime Music app which is available on the previously mentioned devices as well as Android phones. That said, Instant Video still doesn't have an app for Android which comes as no surprise. Amazon wants you to buy their tablets (and possibly smartphones) and in order to do that, they have to present a pretty compelling reason not to go with other notable Android manufacturers like Samsung, Motorola or HTC. Now, when the smartphone launches (if it launches) you will have access to all that is Amazon, with the perk of being able to stream music and video if you're a Prime member.

Amazon's current tablets, not to be confused with their eReaders like the Paperwhite, currently run a customized version of Android and according to IDC, recent market research shows that Google's Android currently has greater market penetration than Apple's iOS. 81% of all devices shipped in Q3 of 2013 were Android but Apple still made the lionshare of the money. During that same time period Apple took in 56% of the total profits in the mobile market with its closest competitor being Samsung. If Amazon hopes to make a dent in any of those shipping figures or marketshare, they're going to have to have a pretty darn compelling reason for people to buy and putting all of their streaming and retail might behind the smartphone is a heck of a way to do it. Why then do they allow their Instant Video app on iOS? It isn't in direct competition with any smartphone plans in the same way that Android devices are. That and Apple device owners spend money. Lots of it.

What do you get with Prime Music

According to Amazon's press release this morning, you get the ability to add over a million songs available for streaming and offline playback at no additional cost to your existing Prime membership. Prime Music will also have hundreds of Prime Playlists which are "designed for all types of genres, occasions, artists, moods and activities, like “Feel Good Country,” 'Bad Boy Rock,' 'Beards & Baristas: Indie Beats,' 'Hip-Hop Workout,' ''90s One-Hit Wonders,' and many others." You'll be able to download both the music and the playlists for offline playback on mobile devices with ad-free listening that includes unlimited skips.

Amazon updated their music app today to support the new features and it's pretty slick. I don't use Cloud Music so I can't speak to the experience of having your own library mixed in with the ability to add Prime Music tracks to your playlists but on its own, the Prime Music app definitely appears to be quality enough that it will give its competitors, Google's All Access, Pandora and Beats Music a solid run for their money. Just looking at some of the Prime Playlists, I can say that it appears that Amazon has created a great way to discover new music very easily or enjoy much of the music you already love!

If you're a Prime member and interested in checking out the new Prime Music service and seeing how it stacks up to a service you may already be using like Pandora or Google All Access, hit your app store of choice and download/update Amazon Music. To see their extensive list of Prime Playlists and more, you can check out the full press release here:
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