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Amazon Music Unlimited vs. Spotify: How Do They Compare?

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Amazon Music Unlimited vs. Spotify: How Do They Compare?

Amazon's new unlimited music-streaming service is here to take on the incumbents, but will it be worth it?

In the summer of 2015, Apple decided to take on Spotify with the launch of a major new paid music service built into the Music app iOS. Now, just 16 months later, Amazon—never one to be left out of the digital playground fun—has launched a very similar service.

Music is nothing new to Amazon. It's been offering MP3s for sale for years, while Prime members can access several million tracks via Amazon Music. But Amazon Music Unlimited opens the company's entire catalog to those willing to pay extra.

The big difference between Spotify and Amazon Music Unlimited is Amazon offers a tier of service geared entirely toward use on devices powered by Amazon's own Alexa A.I. assistant—specifically the popular Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and the portable Echo Tap. Just ask Alexa to start a free trial. Access via Alexa also features something called Side-by-Sides, which is sort of like a DVD commentary from an artist played along with a music track.

The Echo tier of service ($3.99 per month) only works on one Echo device. To use it on more than one Echo or on other devices, you have to pay $7.99 per month or $79 per year. For non-Prime members, the service is $9.99 per month.

Just how does Amazon's new service all compare to the current leader, Spotify? Here's a breakdown.

Amazon Music Unlimited



October 2016 in the US (after offering Amazon Music store selling MP3s in 2006 and Prime Music with limited number of streaming tracks available to Prime members in June 2014.)

October 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden


  • $9.99/month for non-Prime customers
  • $7.99/month or $79/year for Prime Members
  • $3.99/month for Prime Members with an Amazon Echo (can only play unlimited one Echo device!)


Family Plan

6 accounts for $14.99/month or $149/years (coming soon)

6 accounts for $14.99 per month

Trial with full functionality

30 days

30 days

Requires mobile app



How many countries

US to start; , Germany & Austria coming in 2016.

60 minimum

Works with Alexa

Uh…yeah. Search for music by artist, lyric, mood, decade, etc.


Number of users

Real Life. Real News. Real Voices

Help us tell more of the stories that matter

Become a founding member

Unknown at launch

100 million active (40 million paid subscribers)

Number of music tracks

"tens of millions"

30 million+

Internet radio playlist curation

"thousands of hand-curated playlists and personalized stations"


Sound quality

256Kbps; users can pick lower bitrate on mobile apps

160Kbps or 320Kbps


Alexa, iOS, Android, , PC, Mac, Sonos, Fire TV, Fire OS

Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Roku, TiVo, Samsung Smart TVs, Linux, PlayStation, , and more


Not really; they're already on Alexa however for free.





Taylor Swift Taylor Swift vs. Spotify



Don't like these two alternatives? There are others—many of which work with Alexa. Amazon Prime members will still get access to Prime Music at no extra cost, and that also works just fine on multiple Amazon Echo devices, even simultaneously. If you've already settled on Spotify, read 25 Spotify Tricks That Will Make You a Streaming Samurai.

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