Amazon Prime users rejoice! There is now an additional feature with your membership that will allow you to access the site’s music library for free. This adds to the list of services that includes free two-day shipping, free ebook lending, and free movies and TV shows.
Music services are becoming ever more popular. Sites like 8Tracks allow you to listen to user-created playlists. Pandora and IHeartRadio provide live streaming. Now Amazon is trying to muscle in on both, providing access to their music library to stream, as well as offering playlists for members who want to stay within a specific genre.
Here is how it works:
Go to the Prime Music section when signed into your Prime account. You will be given numerous categories to check out. You can go by genre, or search for specific artists. Or go to Playlists to fine those that have already been gathered together by staff.
There are a lot of random playlists based on tone and genre (like Feel Good Country or Boss, Not Bossy). Or you can select their 50 Great lists, which gather together songs like 50 Great 90’s Alternative Songs, or 50 Great Swing Era Songs.
If you are looking for anything harder than Slipknot, you’re going to have to search for the artist and stay away from the featured music or playlists, but at least it is there. For anything more obscure or underground you will be better sticking with other services. But that isn’t a big shocker.
New hits aren’t going to be put on the service, which was an interesting move. The justification seems to be that a lot of today’s hits are coming and going, not leaving much of a mark. Whereas songs from the 90’s and further back prove their popularity by sticking around, even if only for nostalgic value.
Of course, it is also likely that they are waiting to see how successful the service is before investing in the licensing for recent hits. If Prime Music takes off, it doesn’t seem like too big a leap to expect newer music showing up within the next 6 – 12 months. Especially if studio execs start seeing that success and recognize the potential for promotion.
Having tried it myself, I can say that it isn’t a bad service. It isn’t likely to start overtaking other providers, and I don’t intend to give up my own preferences. But for mood-specific playlists, especially from certain decades, it will do.