Of course, Spotify is one of those companies that pioneered and encouraged the change on how modern people listen to music. More and more people are now using music streaming services because it is indeed much more practical and convenient. You can listen to any song from any device. There is no need to carry physical discs. However, Amazon is never one to be left out in the digital playground battle, and the company has also released a very similar service called Amazon Prime Music. Well, music is not a new thing for Amazon. The company has been selling MP3s for years, after all. So, how do Amazon Prime Music vs Spotify compare?
About Amazon Prime Music
First of all, do not confuse this one with Amazon Music, which is formerly Amazon MP3, a market of MP3s for sale. Amazon Prime Music is a music streaming service that allows you to listen to on-demand songs and also to download songs to your devices for offline listening. One cool thing is that Amazon Prime Music is included in the Amazon Prime membership. So, if you are already an Amazon Prime member, you can actually access the collection of more than two million songs without any additional cost. You can also get various playlists and stations that are programmed by the company’s music experts.
Additionally, you can purchase a membership for Amazon Music Unlimited, which unlocks a collection of tens of millions of songs and the ability to access new genres and styles of music. It will also bring new releases from popular artists almost immediately.
Amazon Prime Music Features
The big difference of Amazon Prime Music vs Spotify is that the former is geared almost entirely for use with Amazon’s AI assistant, Alexa, as well as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Tap devices. You can easily play various songs by speaking to Alexa with voice commands. If you are interested in Amazon Music Unlimited, simply ask Alexa to start a free trial, which goes for 30 days. There is also a feature called Side-by-Sides, which brings a DVD commentary from an artist played with a music track.
The maximum streaming quality is 256 Kbps. But you can choose a lower bitrate on the mobile app, if you need to save your mobile data.
Even with Amazon Prime Music, you already get ad-free listening, unlimited skips, and the ability to download songs for offline listening. You can authorize up to ten different devices to your account. That’s already sufficient for home/work PCs and mobile devices. The difference between the cheaper Amazon Prime Music and the pricier Amazon Music Unlimited is the availability of songs and playlists. Amazon Prime Music only has a collection of about two million songs, whereas Amazon Music Unlimited has more than forty million songs – and the number is growing with new releases.
Amazon Prime Music’s Pricing
Of course, pricing would be one of the differences between Amazon Prime Music vs Spotify. You can get Amazon Prime Music for free only if you are already a Prime member. There is a Family Plan for Amazon Music Unlimited which provides six accounts for $14.99/month or $149/year.
To get the higher service tier, Amazon Music Unlimited, there are three possible methods. First, if you are not a Prime member but you have an Echo device, you can subscribe for only $3.99 per month, but you are limited to just that one Echo device without the ability to play from other devices. Second, you can subscribe to get the full functionality for $9.99 per month. Third, for Prime members, the cost is only $7.99 per month. (Take a look : Google Music vs Spotify)
With a collection of more than 30 million songs available for both free and premium users, Spotify easily trumps Amazon Prime Music but competes rather fiercely with Amazon Music Unlimited. Most people with limited budget prefer Spotify because the free version already allows them to listen to many more songs, albeit in a shuffle mode.
Spotify has three streaming quality settings. The free users can only choose the Normal quality setting, which streams at 96 Kbps. The Premium users can select the High quality setting (160 Kbps) or the Extreme quality setting (320 Kbps). There is also an “Automatic” option which changes the streaming quality setting according to your network connection. You may want to use the lower streaming setting when running on mobile data to reduce the bandwidth consumption.
Each Monday, Spotify releases a curated playlist called Discover Weekly, which is based on what you listened to in the previous week and what similar users listen to. However, don’t forget to save the songs that you like because the list automatically refreshes after a week. Spotify also has a collaborative playlist feature, which enables you to share a playlist with your friends so that you all can edit it and work together on it.
Note that the free Spotify account is ad-supported, so don’t be so surprised to hear an advertisement every several tracks. The free version has a limited number of skips you can perform. On the other hand, the premium subscription completely removes the ads, enables the user to select songs on-demand, and allows unlimited skips, offline listening, and custom playlists. However, you can only download to three devices for offline listening.
As mentioned above, Spotify provides a free tier which is ad-supported. The Premium account costs $9.99 per month, which is just as much as Amazon Music Unlimited for non-Prime users. There is a 30-day trial if you want to try it first before purchasing. Finally, there is also a Family Plan, which happens to cost $14.99/month as well for six accounts.
|Amazon Prime Music||Spotify|
|- 2 million songs, upgradeable to Amazon Music Unlimited for more than 40 million songs||- 30 million songs for both free and premium users|
|- Seamless integration with Alexa, Side-by-Sides DVD commentary with music||- Discover Weekly, streaming quality setting, collaborative playlists|
|- 256 Kbps maximum streaming quality||- 320 Kbps maximum streaming quality|
|- Prime members get Amazon Prime Music for free, upgradeable to Amazon Music Unlimited for $7.99/month (Prime members) or $9.99/month (non-Prime users)||- Free version with ads, Premium subscription for $9.99/month|
So, Amazon Prime Music vs Spotify, which one is better? In terms of features, Spotify is still the best. In addition to the rich collection of songs, it has nice features such as the ability to change the streaming quality setting, collaborative playlists, and of course the Discover Weekly playlist. However, if you prefer the ability to download to more than three devices for offline listening, or if you are already an Amazon Prime member, Amazon Prime Music makes a viable alternative that is more affordable.