Amazon’s on-demand music service Amazon Music Unlimited has launched in the UK equipped with Alexa voice controls as it looks to rival Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play Music with a catalogue of over 40 million songs, playlists and personalised stations.
What's more, what Amazon has over such services is an integration with Amazon Echo’s Alexa voice command service, for which music is one of the most popular requests on the software since launch, the company said.
Alexa can create playlists based on mood, artists or a time period, find songs based on a few lyrics, and becomes more conversational and personalised over time.
The integration includes behind-the-scenes artist commentary called Side by Side, available exclusively on Amazon Music from top artists such as Emeli Sandé, The Chainsmokers, Sting, Two Door Cinema Club, Madness, Norah Jones, The Shires and Michael Buble, with more being added all the time.
The price point is also a differentiator. Prime members get a special price of £7.99/month or £79/year, which is cheaper than the premium options from Spotify and Apple Music. This competitive price is how Amazon is hoping to convince users to upgrade from Amazon Prime Music, which is free for Prime subscribers but offers a much more limited catalogue of just 2 million tracks.
Amazon is also offering a "for Echo" subscription plan for £3.99 per month, with full access to Amazon Music Unlimited on a single Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. To add more devices it costs an extra £4 per month for Prime members, £6 for non-Prime.
The Amazon Music app has been redesigned to put music discovery front-and-centre with editor suggestions and recommendation technology, to rival Spotify’s popular Discovery service. The app is available on Fire devices, iOS, Android, Web, PC and Mac.
Amazon Music Unlimited first launched in the US last month, and is today (14 November) rolling out to the UK, Germany and Austria.
Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, said: "If you want a sense of the future of voice-controlled music, go ahead and ask Alexa for a free Amazon Music Unlimited trial, and play around on your Echo. If you don't know the name of a song but know a few lyrics, if you want to hear songs from a specific decade, or even if you're looking for music to match your mood, just ask. Our US customers love Amazon Music Unlimited on Echo, and we think our UK customers will too."