Considering it took the best part of two years for Amazon Echo to come to the UK, when Amazon Music Unlimited was announced for the US in October we thought "Oh, that’ll be nice to try in 2017".
How wrong we were, Amazon Music Unlimited is here now and it hopes to make you think twice about that Spotify subscription.
Amazon has made sure that it is matching Spotify in song count - with 40 million tracks available - but has also added in a few more incentives which centre on Prime and Amazon Echo users.
If you don’t have Prime or Echo, then you will have to pay £9.99 a month for the service. If you have Prime, however, this price drops to £7.99. Or you can pay £79 a year and that brings the cost down to £6.58 a month. Given that Prime users already get Prime Music as part of their package, which has 2 million songs, this may be a harder sell for Amazon.
If you want it even cheaper, however, then you need to be an Echo user. If you have one of Amazon’s voice-controlled speakers, including the Echo Dot, then you can get Amazon Music Unlimited for just £3.99 a month.
Inside the Echo chamber
While this sounds like a massive bargain, there is a catch: opt for this version and you can only listen to Amazon Music Limited on your Echo and only one Echo at that.
Amazon really wants you to opt for the Echo option, ramping up the way you can interact with the device thanks to Music Unlimited. For instance, you will be able to play music by asking Alexa to play a song with a certain lyric, or asking for the latest song by your favourite artist.
You can also ask for a certain part of an artist’s back catalogue - so if you have a penchant for ‘70s Status Quo, then now you can. The Alexa alchemists have also added an extra dimension to its playlists with mood - so you can ask for 'sad indie', 'happy reggae' and you’ll get that sort of music.
One other addition is something called Side By Side - an audio commentary of sorts given by artists on their albums.
With Spotify squeezing all it can out of its algorithms, to make sure that you listen to as much music as possible, Amazon is keen to point out that while it has got its own algorithms to play with, many of the playlists on Amazon Music Unlimited have been hand picked by actual humans.
Couple this with Alexa and it is hoping that those who haven't yet made the transition to streaming, will be doing so while shouting into their Echo chamber.
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