Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Get to know Amazon Prime Music: Limited listening

Christopher Breen | June 17, 2014
Remember when Amazon Prime Video first launched and you logged in, flipped through page after page of obscure movies and ancient TV shows, and, walking away with very little to show for it, looked at your DVD library with far greater respect? Amazon's new Prime Music streaming music service may take you back to those bygone days. It's not so much that its selection is devoid of any good content. After all, who doesn't love Journey's Greatest Hits, Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, and Fleetwood Mac's anciently ear-wormy Rumours? (I mean, other than me.) It's just that it's far from being as comprehensive as services such as Beats Music, Spotify, Rhapsody, and Rdio.

There's lot of artist duplication among Amazon's playlists. For example, Jimi Hendrix appears in 14 playlists. Green Day is present in eight of them. And Jay Z is represented in 10 playlists. This artist-focused approach is also evident in rock, pop, and alternative playlists, which tend to lean on particular artists. Classical and jazz playlists, however, are centered almost entirely on mood and activity — Jazz for Runners, Rainy Day Jazz, Classical for Reading, and Relaxing Classic Music — thus hinting that they're best enjoyed when you have more important things to do than listen to music.

In short, while a million tracks may seem like a lot, when you dig down into Prime Music's catalog, the offerings start to look a little thin, particularly when compared to the 20 million tracks offered by dedicated music streaming services.

All that said, Prime Music's primary purpose isn't to compete with these services. Rather, like Amazon Prime Video, it's offered as another incentive to keep pungling up $99 a year for Amazon Prime (which many people are happy to do simply for the "free" two-day shipping). Music enthusiasts will quickly find its limited catalog wanting, but for the casual listener who's never bothered with a dedicated service, it may prove to be an eye- (or, more appropriately, ear-) opening experience that sparks an interest in a real music streaming service.


Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.