Amazon Music Unlimited debuts with discounts for Prime members, cheap “Echo-only” plan


Image Credits: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto

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 hundreds 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.

Amazon introduces Amazon Alexa, Echo and the All-New Echo Dot at a product launch in London

Echo-only music, powered by Alexa

For a few dollars per month, you can add on-demand music to your Echo speaker, including the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap.

If you’re hesitant to leave your preferred on-demand service, the Echo-only price is just affordable enough that you don’t really have to. And, at this price, it may even appeal to those who weren’t in the market for an on-demand music subscription.

img_0299Though limited to the Echo, this discounted service does come with some advantages.

Not only does it allow you to cue up songs via simple voice commands, Alexa’s machine learning makes the experience “more conversational and personalized” over time, Amazon claims. For instance, you’ll be able to ask it to “play music” and it will start playing songs that are already personalized to your tastes.

The service can do more than play songs by name or artist.

You can ask more complicated queries, too, like “play Green Day’s new song” to hear the band’s latest single; you can request music that matches a mood (e.g. “Alexa, play ‘Happy Music’”); or even a genre from a particular era (e.g. “play the most popular rock from the 90’s”).

You can combine these queries, and ask for music from an artist from a particular decade. You can ask Alexa to play the “song of the day” for a DJ-introduced daily pick. And you can ask for playlists, without even knowing what they’re called on Amazon’s service.

For instance, “Alexa, play music for a dinner party” will cue up a playlist Alexa selects based on your listening history, like “Dinner with Friends,” Cooking with a Classic Soul,” or “Indie Dinner Party,” etc.


You can also ask Alexa to play you a song when you don’t know the name, only some of its lyrics. You do this by asking the virtual assistant to “play the song that goes…” followed by the lyrics you know.

The Echo service includes some behind-the-scenes artist commentaries, called Side-by-Sides. At launch, these are available for The Chainsmokers, Jason Aldean, Lindsey Stirling, Sting, Norah Jones, One Republic, and Kongos, but more will be added in time.

Naturally, you can sign up for Amazon Music Unlimited from the Echo itself, just by asking the virtual assistant to start your free trial. Though still relatively new, tapping into the Echo user base could potentially become a sizable market for Amazon – the company is estimated to have sold over 4 million smart speakers, and is hoping to sell 10 million next year.

New App

Along with the new music service, the Amazon Music app has been given a makeover, and now better emphasizes artist images, album art, music discovery and playback. The app has a “Home” section where you’ll see updates on music from editors, and what’s trending and popular; and a “Recommended” section will include personalized suggestions; and the “Now Playing” section will include synchronized lyrics.

Amazon Music Unlimited is live in the U.S. today. It will debut in the U.K., Germany and Austria later this year.

More TechCrunch

Andreessen Horowitz’s American Dynamism fund has established a new fellowship program aimed at introducing top engineers and technologists to venture investing, a move that could help the firm less obvious…

a16z’s American Dynamism team launches program to introduce technical minds to VC

Another fintech startup, and its customers, has been gravely impacted by the implosion of banking-as-a-service startup Synapse. Copper Banking, a digital banking service aimed at teens, notified its customers on…

Teen fintech Copper had to emergency discontinue its banking, debit products

Autodesk — the 3D tools behemoth — has acquired Wonder Dynamics, a startup that lets creators quickly and easily make complex characters and visual effects using AI-powered image analysis. The…

Autodesk acquires AI-powered VFX startup Wonder Dynamics

Farcaster, a blockchain-based social protocol founded by two Coinbase alumni, announced on Tuesday that it closed a $150 million fundraise. Led by Paradigm, the platform also raised money from a16z…

Farcaster, a crypto-based social network, raised $150M with just 80K daily users

Microsoft announced on Tuesday during its annual Build conference that it’s bringing “Windows Volumetric Apps” to Meta Quest headsets. The partnership will allow Microsoft to bring Windows 365 and local…

Microsoft’s new ‘Volumetric Apps’ for Quest headsets extend Windows apps into the 3D space

The spam reached Bluesky by first crossing over two other decentralized networks: Mastodon and Nostr.

The ‘vote Trump’ spam that hit Bluesky in May came from decentralized rival Nostr

Welcome to TechCrunch Fintech! This week, we’re looking at the continued fallout from Synapse’s bankruptcy, how Layer wants to disrupt SMB accounting, and much more! To get a roundup of…

There’s a real appetite for a fintech alternative to QuickBooks

The company is hoping to produce electricity at $13 per megawatt hour, which would be more than 50% cheaper than traditional onshore wind.

Bill Gates-backed wind startup AirLoom is raising $12M, filings reveal

Generative AI makes stuff up. It can be biased. Sometimes it spits out toxic text. So can it be “safe”? Rick Caccia, the CEO of WitnessAI, believes it can. “Securing…

WitnessAI is building guardrails for generative AI models

It’s not often that you hear about a seed round above $10 million. H, a startup based in Paris and previously known as Holistic AI, has announced a $220 million…

French AI startup H raises $220M seed round

Hey there, Series A to B startups with $35 million or less in funding — we’ve got an exciting opportunity that’s tailor-made for your growth journey! If you’re looking to…

Boost your startup’s growth with a ScaleUp package at TC Disrupt 2024

TikTok is pulling out all the stops to prevent its impending ban in the United States. Aside from initiating legal action against the U.S. government, that means shaping up its…

As a US ban looms, TikTok announces a $1M program for socially driven creators

Microsoft wants to put its Copilot everywhere. It’s only a matter of time before Microsoft renames its annual Build developer conference to Microsoft Copilot. Hopefully, some of those upcoming events…

Microsoft’s Power Automate no-code platform adds AI flows

Build is Microsoft’s largest developer conference and of course, it’s all about AI this year. So it’s no surprise that GitHub’s Copilot, GitHub’s “AI pair programming tool,” is taking center…

GitHub Copilot gets extensions

Microsoft wants to make its brand of generative AI more useful for teams — specifically teams across corporations and large enterprise organizations. This morning at its annual Build dev conference,…

Microsoft intros a Copilot for teams

Microsoft’s big focus at this year’s Build conference is generative AI. And to that end, the tech giant announced a series of updates to its platforms for building generative AI-powered…

Microsoft upgrades its AI app-building platforms

The U.K.’s data protection watchdog has closed an almost year-long investigation of Snap’s AI chatbot, My AI — saying it’s satisfied the social media firm has addressed concerns about risks…

UK data protection watchdog ends privacy probe of Snap’s GenAI chatbot, but warns industry

U.S. cell carrier Patriot Mobile experienced a data breach that included subscribers’ personal information, including full names, email addresses, home ZIP codes and account PINs, TechCrunch has learned. Patriot Mobile,…

Conservative cell carrier Patriot Mobile hit by data breach

It’s been three years since Spotify acquired live audio startup Betty Labs, and yet the music streaming service isn’t leveraging the technology to its fullest potential — at least not…

Spotify’s ‘Listening Party’ feature falls short of expectations

Alchemist Accelerator has a new pile of AI-forward companies demoing their wares today, if you care to watch, and the program itself is making some international moves into Tokyo and…

Alchemist’s latest batch puts AI to work as accelerator expands to Tokyo, Doha

“Late Pledge” allows campaign creators to continue collecting money even after the campaign has closed.

Kickstarter now lets you pledge after a campaign closes

Stack AI’s co-founders, Antoni Rosinol and Bernardo Aceituno, were PhD students at MIT wrapping up their degrees in 2022 just as large language models were becoming more mainstream. ChatGPT would…

Stack AI wants to make it easier to build AI-fueled workflows

Pinecone, the vector database startup founded by Edo Liberty, the former head of Amazon’s AI Labs, has long been at the forefront of helping businesses augment large language models (LLMs)…

Pinecone launches its serverless vector database out of preview

Young geothermal energy wells can be like budding prodigies, each brimming with potential to outshine their peers. But like people, most decline with age. In California, for example, the amount…

Special mud helps XGS Energy get more power out of geothermal wells

Featured Article

Sonos finally made some headphones

The market play is clear from the outset: The $449 headphones are firmly targeted at an audience that would otherwise be purchasing the Bose QC Ultra or Apple AirPods Max.

8 hours ago
Sonos finally made some headphones

Adobe says the feature is up to the task, regardless of how complex of a background the object is set against.

Adobe brings Firefly AI-powered Generative Remove to Lightroom

All cars suffer when the mercury drops, but electric vehicles suffer more than most as heaters draw more power and batteries charge more slowly as the liquid electrolyte inside thickens.…

Porsche Ventures invests in battery startup South 8 to boost cold-weather EV performance

Scale AI has raised a $1 billion Series F round from a slew of big-name institutional and corporate investors including Amazon and Meta.

Data-labeling startup Scale AI raises $1B as valuation doubles to $13.8B

The new coalition, Tech Against Scams, will work together to find ways to fight back against the tools used by scammers and to better educate the public against financial scams.

Meta, Match, Coinbase and others team up to fight online fraud and crypto scams

It’s a wrap: European Union lawmakers have given the final approval to set up the bloc’s flagship, risk-based regulations for artificial intelligence.

EU Council gives final nod to set up risk-based regulations for AI