Amazon Prime subscribers just got a cool free music upgrade

If you're a Prime member you just got 98 million more songs for free

Woman wearing white headphones smiling as she listens to music
(Image credit: Anastasiya Gepp)

Good news for Amazon Prime subscribers: you now have access to over 100 million songs on Amazon Music without having to pay extra. That's up from the previous selection of 2 million songs, so it's a big upgrade for your Amazon Echo (or any of the other best smart speakers with Amazon compatibility). You'll also get access to many shows from Amazon's catalogue of ad-free podcasts, including some podcasts that you won't find on any platform, and you'll be able to download audio for offline listening. 

There is one catch, though: the songs are only available in Shuffle mode; with the exception of All-Access playlists, which you can pick and choose songs from, you can only shuffle-play the music. Still, it's a big improvement on the previous free offering.

Amazon Music Prime logo on blue background

(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon Music Prime: what's the catch?

Amazon hasn't given up on Amazon Music Unlimited; if you want on-demand music rather than just the ability to skip through playlists, or if you want higher quality and/or Spatial Audio, those are still reserved for Unlimited subscribers. That's still $8.99/£8.99 a month.

For most people, I suspect the HD/spatial audio options aren't going to be a big enough deal to justify an additional subscription – especially since the free music on offer to every Prime member is ad-free too, and so are the top podcasts.

It's interesting to see Amazon bucking the trend: other streaming services are getting more expensive or removing features, so for example Apple has just upped the price of Apple Music, Apple TV+ and its Apple One entertainment bundles and Netflix is about to make big changes to account sharing. So it feels churlish to grumble about what Amazon Music Prime doesn't do: if you're a Prime member who doesn't feel the need to shell out for a dedicated music service, this is a nice upgrade to have.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).