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This Digital Life: Amazon lost in the jungle of online music

It's cheaper than Spotify and Apple Music, but offers far fewer tracks. So does Amazon Prime Music really stand a chance in the already over-crowded online market? Katie Wright tunes in to the new service.

Following its unveiling in the US in June, Amazon Prime Music is now available in the UK, going up against rival products from Apple, Spotify and more.

Amazon Prime customers can access the new service for free as part of the £79-a-year package that already includes TV and movies, free one-day delivery for online shopping and stacks of free e-books.

Like Apple Music, there's a player to download for PCs, tablets and smartphones, plus Amazon's own Fire TV streaming devices, and you can save tracks to listen to offline, too.

Targeting the Spotify crowd, there are hundreds of radio-style playlists that aren't interrupted by ads, featuring everything from 'Mozart Favourites' to 'R&B To Wallow To' and you can add your own existing tracks to the mix as well.

In total, users can access more than one million songs, which may seem like a lot, but pales in comparison to Spotify and Apple's roughly 30 million apiece. The most notable exceptions? A deal couldn't be reached with Universal, meaning artists like Taylor Swift, Jay Z and Katy Perry are missing from the Prime line-up.

Without these big hitters, can Prime really hope to lure users away from its rivals? And will existing Prime customers start listening to the new add-on if they're already loyal to iTunes or Spotify?

On the plus side, it is the cheapest option, working out at £6.58 per month versus £9.99 for Spotify Premium and Apple Music, or £19.99 for the latest entrant, Tidal, which offers 'high-fidelity' audio - that's a very appealing price when you factor in the TV and movies, all for around the same cost as a monthly Netflix subscription.

But it doesn't offer family sharing for £14.99 like Apple does for up to six people, even though you can share the other benefits of Prime membership with family members.

Thinking about signing up? The 30-day free trial might help you decide - and Apple Music offers three months free as well.

Plenty of Top Gear fans will probably be signing up anyway since the announcement Amazon has secured Jeremy Clarkson and co for a new motoring show.

In fact, the Prime Music bods are no doubt cooking up some 'Rock Hits for Driving' playlists as we speak.

Belfast Telegraph


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