updated 06:29 am EDT, Thu June 12, 2014
Over 1M songs available on Amazon Prime Music at launch
Amazon has launched its long-rumored music streaming service, just one day after reports claiming it would do so this week. Prime Music follows on from Prime Instant Video and the Kindle Lending Library as an extra service included in the $99 annual Prime delivery subscription, giving customers the ability to stream music to multiple devices without any advertising.
Amazon Music will work using rebranded versions of the retailer's Amazon Cloud Player apps for mobile devices, with users able to compile playlists and download tracks for offline playback. Songs in Amazon's MP3 store that can be listened to under Prime Music are marked with a Prime badge, similar to Prime Instant Video, while songs uploaded to the Cloud Player or added via AutoRip will be listed in the app as "Your Music."
The service will also provide a large number of curated playlists for various genres and song types, with listeners able to skip as many tracks as they wish without limits.
While effectively a free extra benefit to current Prime subscribers, it does not appear that Prime Music is trying to seriously compete against other streaming services, such as Spotify and Pandora. The included library of "over a million songs" is small compared to its competitors, with earlier rumors suggesting it would use songs and albums six months old or older, as well as failing to make an agreement with major record label Universal Music Group before launch. It will most likely be viewed as an extra benefit for Prime, keeping subscribers happy and enticing more to sign up, rather than a "must-have" service.
Amazon Prime Music is available to use today in the United States, and will probably become available in other Amazon regions in the future.