When Amazon raised the cost of their Prime subscription service last year many questioned whether it still had value. One main way they tried to justify value was how many times a year you used the free two day shipping.
Well two day shipping is not the only feature of the Prime subscription service so in my opinion it was not a very good measure of value.
There are other benefits in addition to the free shipping including:
- Prime Instant Video: unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes for paid or free trial members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
- Kindle Owners’ Lending Library: access to members in the U.S.
- Kindle First: Early access for members in the U.S. to download a new book for free every month from the Kindle First picks.
- Membership Sharing: Prime members may invite up to four eligible household members living at the same address to enjoy the shipping benefits of a free trial or paid Prime membership at no extra cost. If you purchase a Prime membership as a small business, you may invite up to four co-workers to shop with this corporate account.
- And of course the FREE Two-Day Shipping on eligible items to addresses in the contiguous U.S. and other shipping benefits.
Well today Amazon has added a feature that has been rumored for some time and is intended to increase the value of a Prime subscription.
Interestingly enough it has been revealed with very little fanfare including no links to the new service on the main Amazon.com homepage.
Prime Music is now available to all of Amazon’s Prime subscribers and offers a host of features:
- Over 1 million songs
- Ad free
- No skip limit
- Prime Playlists
- Prime Music songs can be downloaded for offline listening
- Can be accessed on Kindle Fire HD/HDX, iOS, Android, PC and Mac devices.
I think Amazon has a prime opportunity here to finally release a Windows/Windows Phone app that streams both their Prime Instant Video and Prime Music services to subscribers.
One caveat on the service: it is not available with the Amazon Mom or Amazon Student trial memberships or for shared Prime accounts. Paid Amazon Mom and Student accounts do include Prime Music services.
So lets take a look around the service. Here are some screenshots I grabbed as I explored the service for the first time earlier today.
Here is the main player view in a web browser.
On the left side of the screen you have access to your Amazon Music library which also includes all the music you have purchased from Amazon. Previously that was accessible through Amazon’s Cloud Player but now that has apparently been renamed Amazon Music.
Over on the right sidebar will be links to the song you are playing and similar songs/artists so they can be purchased and added to your library permanently.
At the bottom of the screen is your playback toolbar with buttons to pause, go back, go forward, shuffle, repeat, a volume slider and a Facebook share button.
As I mentioned above, over on the far right of the playback toolbar/controls is a Facebook button that gives you the option to share every song you listen to on Prime Music with your Facebook friends.
Please choose wisely with this one!
When you are browsing the Prime Music library each track/album will have a button over on the far right to add that song to your library with one click.
Here is an interesting thought – why offer purchase options in a service that is free if you are a subscriber already?
My prediction is that Amazon Music will become a subscription based service on its own, separate from the Prime subscription package, so that Amazon can compete with the other music streaming services such as Spotify, Xbox Music and Beats Music.
What do you think?