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: 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.