By this point in the music streaming wars, most people have settled on a service, whether that be Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, or even YouTube Music. Each of the best streaming music services has its own strengths and weaknesses, but they mostly share the same catalog of content and similar pricing structures. So if there's not much to differentiate between these different apps, how are any of them going to successfully convince you to dump the one you're currently using and give theirs a try? Spotify is building up its original podcasting and audiobook content offerings. Apple is trying to generate churn from other services by offering premium features like lossless or high-def music for free to its subscribers. YouTube Music's draws people in thanks to its integration with YouTube Premium and the YouTube platform in general.
The one service that I haven't yet mentioned — Amazon Music Unlimited — is doing all of these things and undercutting its rivals when it comes to pricing. Not only that, it is constantly running amazing promotional deals to convince new users to try its services out. I've tried all of the major services, and Amazon's is the one I keep coming back to for reasons that I'll outline below.
I've written a lot about why I think Amazon Music is the one streaming service you shouldn't ignore, but let's recap a few of the highlights for those of you who may be new to the service.
For starters, it has essentially the same catalog of music content as all of the other major services — over 60 million songs, in fact — so no matter what genre you're into, chances are it's on Amazon Music. Like Spotify, Amazon also added podcasts to the service over the past year, and also like Spotify, it has been investing in original content to offer its subscribers. Some of the bigger titles include The First One with DJ Khaled and Disgraceland, but you can also follow just about any of your favorite podcasts (like the AC podcast).
The app also includes live streaming content from different artists and creators from Twitch, and there are a number of fun music video playlists for those of you coming from YouTube Music. And if you want to rep your favorite band, there's even a tastefully hidden way to purchase artist merch from the app.
Amazon Music car mode brings hands-free Alexa integration and a safer touch UI.
Amazon's Alexa Auto program is still finding its legs, and there aren't a lot of car companies that support it via in-dash infotainment systems. Still, Amazon Music's car mode gets you most of the way there, thanks to its hands-free Alexa integration and simplified touch user interface. Paired with a good car mount, it's a viable mobile solution if you don't have a vehicle with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
If all of the above hasn't convinced you to give Amazon Music a try, don't forget that all of Amazon's HD and 3D audio content is now available for free to paying subscribers. Previously Amazon offered this content for a premium price, but now anyone who subscribes can access it.
Prime members can save nearly $25 per year on Amazon Music compared to other services.
The final reason to consider switching to Amazon Music Unlimited is the price. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can get a subscription for as little as $7.99 per month (or just over $85 per year). That saves you nearly $25 per year over services like Spotify or Apple Music, which is not too shabby. Heck, you can even purchase a one-device subscription for under $4 per month if all you want to do is play it on a single Echo device.
While all of the above amount to a fantastic value for customers, it's important to remember too why Amazon is so generous with its music offerings. For starters, it is a huge multinational tech company that can afford to subsidize its music service to outcompete other players. Additionally, there is arguably no company outside of Facebook or Google that knows as much about you as Amazon, and it wants to learn as much as it can about your tastes and preferences so that it can better tailor other offers to you in the future. There's nothing nefarious about any of this, and many people will happily agree to the tradeoff for the value provided, but it's important to remember that there's no such thing as a free lunch.
As you may know by now, Amazon Prime Day is quickly approaching. Last year, Prime Day was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it's back on schedule as an early summer event this year. It will take place June 21-22, and there are sure to be a ton of great deals on all kinds of tech devices like the best Android phones, best wireless earbuds, and of course, the best Alexa speakers.
Leading up to Prime Day, Amazon is offering some amazing deals on its Music Unlimited services. Prime members who are new subscribers can get four months of Amazon Music Unlimited for free — which means essentially that you have until early fall before you actually have to start paying for all of those podcasts, videos, and high-quality music goodies.
If you're in the market for a new smart speaker, glasses, or earbuds, you can get even more free music courtesy of Amazon just by picking up an eligible Echo device. Check the links below to confirm which devices qualify, but I recommend the Echo (4th Gen), Echo Buds (2nd Gen), or Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) for great sound; just pick the best option based on your personal needs and budget.
Now, what are you waiting for? Go grab one of these amazing deals and start your summer out right!
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