Amazon Music Unlimited: The New Spotify?

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Guest Post: Will Kay //

After years of Spotify being the live-streaming giant of music, Amazon (following iTunes and Tidal) has finally stepped into the ring to offer their services for live-streaming music. With so many platforms to choose from already, what does Amazon offer that the others – specifically Spotify – do not? Will it be enough to rise to the top as the new go-to live-streaming app? Taking a look at the key differences will help us determine who will come out on top.

With Amazon offering unlimited streaming to non-Prime users for $9.99, it is matched with Spotify’s subscription of the same price. One benefit of Spotify is that it offers student discounts and many deals on first three months free. In addition, for an extra few dollars a month, an account can be upgraded to a “family” account, where music can be streamed simultaneously on different devices without interruption. While this is a benefit for Spotify, Amazon does offer a lower price of $7.99 for Prime Subscribers (a yearly $99 subscription) and an additional $3.99 subscription to integrate Amazon’s exclusive Echo system.

In terms of music, the difference between Amazon and Spotify’s selection is very, very miniscule. Since Amazon is a newer subscription service, it hasn’t found a way to integrate the music of lesser known or local artists. With Spotify, it takes a few clicks for an artist to share their music globally on their site. In addition, I have not found another streaming app (including iTunes) that has quite the playlist or radio selection of Spotify. From genres to moods to user-made playlists, the possibilities are endless. If you’re also into avidly sharing music and playlists with others, Spotify has an edge as it is the most saturated service to date and the in-app sharing options make sharing a song with your friend a simple one-click action. In fact, Spotify’s app has such an ease of use that many simple actions can be taken without even unlocking your phone which is a really great benefit for multitaskers.

Overall, Spotify is still the clear winner… for now. While Amazon’s price points are cheaper than Spotify’s in some aspects, there is a looming question of whether it would be enough of a benefit for anyone to change from their current subscription. After building up that music collection in Spotify, adding all of my friends who utilize the same app, I’m not sure that ditching all of that would be worth a few dollars difference with Amazon. However, Amazon has one of the most loyal customer bases in the world, so if there is one thing that could push Amazon ahead of the competition, it would definitely be the brand loyalty they’ve instilled in their customers. Only time will tell.

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