Rumors have been swirling around Amazon’s plans to launch its own, standalone music streaming service, and now those reports have been proven out: the company is today announcing the launch of Amazon Music Unlimited. This new, on-demand streaming service offers access to tens of millions of songs, and is available for $7.99 per month for Prime members, or $9.99 per month for non-Prime members. Amazon has also launched a “for Echo” subscription plan that lets you listen only on its connected speakers for just $3.99 per month.
The Echo-only plan confirms the earlier report from Recode which said a second service aimed at owners of Amazon Echo hardware would help differentiate Amazon Music Unlimited from rivals. This isn’t Amazon’s first foray into music streaming. Prime membership has included access to Amazon Music before today’s launch, but with a more limited catalog.
Amazon Prime members could access over two million songs, as well as over a thousand playlists and personalized stations. Amazon Music Unlimited is a big step up from that, with “tens of millions” of songs from the major labels Sony, Universal, and Warner, plus thousands of indies, as well as thousands of playlists and personalized stations. A family subscription plan for up to 6 people is not live today, but will arrive later this year for $14.99/month or $149/year. Prime members can also choose to pay $79 per year (which works out to $6.58/month).
The service supports standard features like offline listening, and is free of advertising. It works across any Amazon Music compatible device, including the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Tap, Fire devices like Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets, iOS, Android, the web, PCs and Macs, Sonos, Bose, and others. Although the new service will compete in a crowded landscape against rivals like Apple Music, Google Play Music/YouTube Red, Spotify, and even Pandora’s newly announced discounted tiers, what makes Amazon Prime Unlimited most interesting is its “Echo-only” plan.