Amazon's Music Unlimited streaming service offers surprisingly great value for Prime members like me - here's what it's like to use
- These days, there are plenty of ways to listen to your favorite songs, but streaming music is definitely the most convenient.
- Amazon Music Unlimited costs $7.99 a month for Prime members or $9.99 a month for non-members.
- The service has a catalog of more than 50 million songs that you can stream or download for offline listening.
- You can listen to Unlimited's catalog of music on many different devices, including Echo smart speakers.
- I tested out the streaming service and thought it was a solid option and a great value, especially for existing Prime members.
I listen to music whenever I get the chance. Whether it's acoustics while I work, the pop charts while I exercise, or classic rock while I drive, I love to have something playing in the background. That's why I was surprised that as an Amazon Prime member, I had never even checked out Amazon's streaming service.
If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you already have access to Prime Music. This is Amazon's basic, free (for Prime members) streaming option that offers up some 2 million songs. That may sound like a lot, but you can get millions of more songs if you pay for Amazon's Music Unlimited service. Unlimited comes with 50 million songs, and Prime members can get it for $7.99 a month, while non-members will pay $9.99 a month to use it.We've already written up a rundown on how to use Amazon Music, but it's pretty simple. You can access Amazon Music Unlimited via the Amazon website or app, using your regular Amazon login. Here's what it's like to actually use Amazon Music Unlimited.
You can use Music Unlimited on your phone or computer. On the computer, you can access Music Unlimited on the Amazon homepage or download the Amazon Music app onto your desktop - you can download this app straight from Amazon. On your phone, you'll have to download the Amazon Music app from the app store.
However you choose to access Music Unlimited, you'll be met with a similar interface. I found the interface to be clean and user-friendly. There are plenty of built-in features aimed at helping listeners discover new music. The Recommended section (found on the left-side navigation menu on desktop or from bottom left Browse section on phone) is filled with playlists, albums, and songs Amazon thinks you'll like based on your listening history. You can follow playlists you like, listen to playlists curated by your favorite artists, and easily make your own playlists of your favorite songs.
Amazon's Unlimited selection rivals that of the big streaming players like Spotify and Apple Music - all are said to offer about 50 million songs. I did plenty of searching, looking for albums from some of today's most popular artists, artists from past decades, as well as musicians I know that haven't made it to the mainstream yet and was pleased to see that Amazon had them all. There really were no holes when it came to music, which makes sense as Music Unlimited releases new songs weekly.
Amazon also has a selection of exclusive songs - both covers and singles - called Amazon Originals, that you can't find on other streaming sites. This reminded me of Spotify Singles - the competing service's collection of exclusive studio sessions with popular artists, though Amazon's section is a little more sparse here.The selection of curated playlists rivals that of competitors, but Amazon Music Unlimited doesn't offer anything in the way of other content. Spotify has a large selection of podcasts and some fun videos sprinkled throughout the service, Tidal lets you watch music videos, and Slacker Radio has a selection of hilarious stand-up. Amazon does have Side-by-Sides, artist commentary on their own songs and albums, but you can only access this with Alexa. If you just want songs, you won't miss anything with Music Unlimited, but if you want more content this is something to consider.
The pricing structure gives Amazon Music Unlimited some real skin in the game. This is one of the most affordable options around, especially if you're a Prime member already.
There is no free Music Unlimited option, though you can do a 30-day trial of the service at no cost. After that, Music Unlimited costs $9.99 a month for non-Prime members, a pretty average price for streaming services. For Prime members that price goes down to $7.99 a month or $79 annually, which brings the price per month to just over $6. The family plan option - which allows you to connect six devices - costs $14.99 a month, similar to Apple Music and Spotify.
There are even more discounts and special deals to encourage Amazon users to use Music Unlimited. Students can get the service for $4.99 a month, but Prime Student members can stream Music Unlimited for just $6 for 6 months. If you have an Amazon Echo device you can save even more - you get access to Amazon's millions of songs for just $3.99, though the plan can only be used on that one registered device.
The price of a membership gets you unlimited access to every song, ad-free listening, unlimited skips, offline streaming, and hands-free listening if you have an Alexa-enabled device.
Users seem to love Amazon Music Unlimited's seamless integration with Echo devices. Just ask Alexa to play a song, an artist, or something like "pool party music" if you want music to fit a specific vibe. While you can use other streaming services with Alexa, the difference here is that it's built-in, you don't need to specify what service Alexa needs to play the song on, she already knows it's Music Unlimited. If you rely heavily on Alexa, this is a nice feature.
Something I found fun was the karaoke-style lyrics provided with each song. When you listen to a song, the lyrics show up on your screen, rolling as the song goes on. You can jump to any point in the song using this feature - just click the lyrics you want to hear. I love knowing song lyrics, so I think this feature is really fun.
Bottom linePicking which streaming service is best for you is really a personal choice. Are you basing your choice on price alone? Are you just listening to songs or do you want more music-related content? Are you looking for a service that has more social media features?
When it comes to basic features Amazon Music Unlimited is pretty similar to most other major streaming services - it has a strong selection, helps listeners discover new music, and is affordable, especially for Prime members. If you're a real music nerd, this service will probably feel a little bare bones for you as it doesn't offer much in the way of exclusive content from, and about, artists.
But, if you're an Amazon Prime member or the owner of an Echo device, Music Unlimited is a seamless and affordable way to stream music. And, at just $7.99 a month, or an even more affordable $79 a year, it's probably one of the best prices you're going to get.
Sign up for Amazon Music Unlimited free for 30 days here (then $9.99/month for non-members or $7.99/ month for Prime members)
Subscribe to our newsletter.
Find all the best offers at our Coupons page.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.