Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field?

Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field?

In a market increasingly saturated with the many audio streaming services , Amazon Music has been able to create an audience over the years, in particular thanks to the link between Amazon Prime and the audio service of Amazon Music. Indeed, Prime subscribers benefit from a small section of the application for free, with Amazon Prime Music. On the other hand, to take advantage of the full potential of Amazon Music, you will have to take an additional subscription. But is this necessary? How does it stand out from the competition?



Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field? 8 See the offer Read the conclusion Amazon Music
  • HD and Ultra HD, flawless sound quality
  • A huge catalog
  • Tons of trial offers and various types of subscriptions as needed
  • A too classic interface (even if effective)
  • Work to do on the personalized recommendations algorithm
Summary


Streaming beginnings miles away

Historically, Amazon Music was born Amazon MP3, the service is launched as a platform for sales of music in MP3 format, first only in the United States and then around the world.



Faced with the paradigm shift in the world of music, particularly with the popularization of streaming services, Amazon MP3 subsequently became Amazon Music and launched into the field. 

In 2019, the service integrates Amazon Music HD, which allows you to listen to more than 50 million songs in HD format and several million songs in Ultra HD format.

Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field?

Thus, Amazon Music is one of the few streaming services that offer lossless music, that is, CD quality music, without loss of sound information.

Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field?

Today, Amazon Music is one of the 10 largest streaming services in the world, offering sizable competition against market giants Spotify or Apple Music. In 2020, the music service of the American giant thus reached 55 million regular users (subscribers), thus benefiting from a big increase in attendance compared to 2019 (32 million). In other words, it is a service which is meeting with more and more obvious success.



The offer

Le service Amazon Music

Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field?

Amazon Music is a music streaming service, allowing the reading and listening (online and offline) of many songs. Not to mention obviously the various podcasts and radios offered in applications of this kind. When Amazon MP3 was launched in 2007, more than 2 million songs from the repertoire of approximately 180 artists were on sale. Today, there are more than 000 million songs available directly in streaming on the site of the American giant. 

Amazon Music's offer remains quite similar to that offered by other large streaming services in the content made available to users. Despite everything, the service stands out in particular for the various (and numerous) subscription options offered. Free trial, offer linked to Amazon Prime subscribers, Unlimited and Family subscriptions, offer for Amazon speakers (Echo Dot) ... The possibilities are numerous and make the service attractive to all types of users.

Listening quality

Since 2019 and the launch of Amazon Music HD, the music streaming application has made it possible to listen to more than 50 million songs from the catalog in lossless High-Definition (16 bit / 44.1 kHz). In addition, several million (exact figure not communicated by Amazon) of songs are available in Ultra-HD (24/44, 24/48, 24/96 or even 24 bits / 192 kHz), namely the best possible audio quality. .


To be clear, when a title is labeled “HD”, it means that it benefits from an audio quality similar to that of a CD. Ultra HD is actually another Amazon way of calling hi-res music. Thus, the platform is now part, alongside Tidal, Qobuz or Apple Music, of services offering lossless audio quality to music lovers.

Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field? Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field?

Overall, the sound quality offered by Amazon Music is extremely similar to that of other leading platforms in the market, Spotify in the lead. The difference in quality is very difficult to discern, especially if one uses headphones or headphones located between the low and mid-range.

Compatible devices

Like most streaming platforms, Amazon Music is available in a variety of complementary media. These include a web service, mobile applications (iOS, Android), an app for connected TV, a desktop application and compatibility with certain personal assistants. 

To take advantage of it, all you have to do is create or connect to your Amazon account (the same as for the delivery service), then access the application on the chosen medium. Thanks to this multiplatform function, Amazon Music is thus accessible everywhere and anytime. However, let us not see this as a guarantee of high quality, since most of the other music streaming services use the same cross-platform model: it is now an obligation in the field.

Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field?

In addition, Amazon only allows its users to authorize up to 10 devices at a time logged into each account. It is therefore important to remove the authorization of a device in order to authorize another if the maximum limit mentioned above is reached.

A lot of diversity among subscriptions and practical trial versions

The Amazon Music subscription can be divided into several parts. First, Prime subscribers who so wish (€ 49 per year) already benefit from limited access to Amazon Music, offering them the possibility of discovering more than 2 million preselected titles. A sort of “demo” version for all current Amazon Prime subscribers who would be subscribed mainly for other reasons (Fast deliveries, Amazon Prime Video, etc.). 

In addition, a free version of Amazon Music called Amazon Music Free is also available to users wishing to get an idea of ​​the service. This free offer allows you to access some playlists and stations, all with advertisements.

Let's move on to subscriptions: to benefit from Amazon Music Unlimited, namely the most competitive version offered by the American giant, you can choose from 3 types of subscriptions.

  • The individual offer for € 9,99 per month (or € 99,99 for an annual subscription with two months free if you already have Amazon Prime) notably allows access to more than 75 million SD, HD and Ultra HD ad-free and unlimited.

  • The family offer incorporates all the qualities allowed by the individual offer, while also allowing 6 users to take advantage of the Amazon Music Unlimited service. In return, you will have to rely on a more expensive subscription: € 14,99 per month or € 149 per year (provided you are an Amazon Prime subscriber for the annual offer). 

  • Finally, an Echo Dot offer which allows access to the Amazon Music catalog only on a single device, namely the company's home automation assistant, the Echo Dot. In return, the price of the subscription for an Echo Dot is more affordable: it is priced at € 3,99 per month.

Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field? Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field?

It is also important to mention that Amazon Music offers a very generous trial version of the Unlimited (personal) offer for 3 months, just to get a good idea of ​​the quality of the service.

Overall, the prices offered by Amazon Music are fairly standard in the field. € 9,99 for the individual offer and € 14,99 for the family offer, it's exactly the same price as with most competitors (€ 9,99 also at Apple Music, Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, Youtube Music). In other words, the real added value of the service will rather come from its offer, and its quality / price ratio compared to the competition.

Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field?

The catalog

With more than 2 million titles available to simple Amazon Prime subscribers and more than 75 million to those with the Unlimited offer, Amazon Music is in the middle of the streaming services in terms of pure content: it will really be necessary to look for a title extremely obscure so as not to find it in the library. 

On the other hand, Amazon Music is fishing by the absence of several features present in other competing services, such as personalized recommendations, or the creation of playlists linked to the titles previously listened to. To take a simple example, during our test of the application, we were able to listen to an album by Leaf Hound, an obscure hard-rock band from the 70s. As soon as we finished listening to the album, the algorithm has chained a playlist supposed to stay in the same musical style: the first track of this new playlist was Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd. A much less obscure title and not really in the same heavy-psych style discussed earlier with Leaf Hound. In this, Amazon Music has some catching up to do with other streaming services, like Spotify for example.

Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field? Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field?

However, Amazon compensates for this flaw by offering a playlist called “My Discovery Mix”, the equivalent of “Discoveries of the Week” on Spotify. In other words, this is a playlist designed to offer new things to discover to users thanks to an algorithm which is based on the latter's favorite titles. Despite the effort, this playlist is still slightly less sharp than the equivalent from Spotify. 

Finally, Amazon Music offers a whole bunch of playlists the main purpose of which is to highlight one of the main qualities offered by the service: the quality of its sound. Indeed, we can find lists of songs “Best of Ultra HD”, “Ultra HD New Arrivals” or even “Ultra HD Hip-Hop” or “Jazz”. A good way to get an idea of ​​the songs offered at the best possible quality on the platform.

Interfaces / accessibility

Online, the web service

The web service is the one offered by default to new subscribers via computer. In other words, it is a fully usable version via the web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc.). In terms of interface, this version remains extremely similar to what can be done in the field of music streaming platforms. We could even blame him for this lack of originality, especially if we compare him to the leader of the genre, Spotify. We thus find all his playlists and his music in a banner on the left, with the sounds chosen or explored in the central window of the service. Classic, of course, but effective!

Mobile applications

Like the Amazon Music web platform, the service's mobile applications remain classic. One thing is certain: those who are used to competing offers will not be disoriented. By scrolling on the home screen, you can find some recommended titles, various suitable playlists according to the main titles listened to in the past or the possibility of discovering the most popular titles of the moment. A great classic in the field. However, we appreciate the X-Ray function available at the bottom of each track listened to, allowing in particular to find the artists responsible for the work, as well as their role in the creation of a particular song. 

Android and iOS users benefiting from a device launched after 2014 with minimum Android 5.0 or iOS 11 will be able to use HD and Ultra HD sound, so it is advisable to bring a later device to make the most of the capabilities provided in the app.

Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field? Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field?

It is also important to note that the interface of the mobile versions of Amazon Music is not yet suitable for all smartphones in the fleet of current devices, and in particular foldable models. Indeed, on Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, the application interface does not take up the entire external screen of the smartphone, leaving large black bands above and below it.

On connected TV

Amazon Music is, like many of its competitors, available on connected TV thanks to an application designed for the occasion. An admittedly late arrival (we had to wait until February 2021), but now real. In other words, in recent months, it has been possible to launch your music directly via your connected television (provided that the latter is compatible) by installing the appropriate application.

On Windows or macOS

Amazon Music's Desktop application is in almost all respects similar to the browser version of the service. Available for less than 100 MB, the desktop application allows in particular the downloading of various titles, in order to be listened to in offline mode (which the browser version does not allow, for example).

Personal assistants

Amazon Music opinion (2021): catalog, prices, service… Is audio streaming via Amazon a major competitor to the behemoths in the field?

Amazon Music is compatible with various speakers and personal assistants. For the first, we can especially mention the speakers Bose, Sony, Klipsch, Pioneer, Polk or Seinheiser (among many others), which will be able to play perfectly the HD and Ultra HD sound offered by the platform. In terms of personal assistants, Amazon obviously emphasizes its compatibility with its own devices, the Amazon Echo in mind. 

By linking their Amazon Music account to Alexa, it will be possible to directly play their chosen music in a voice request to the Amazon home voice assistant. To be clear, just like an Apple Music integrates perfectly into the Apple, iOS and Mac OS ecosystem, Amazon Music integrates perfectly into the Amazon ecosystem thanks to Alexa and personal assistants and home automation. , like the Amazon Echo. 

In addition, Amazon Music HD enables 3D audio playback on products from the Echo range. In other words, the user can enjoy a more immersive audio experience with more than 1000 songs mastered in the Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio codecs. 

Amazon Music: Itopdroid's user review

Despite the presence of many major competitors in the field, Amazon Music has created a hole over the years, in particular thanks to several important factors. Among them, an irreproachable sound quality (among the best on the market), a very large catalog and a multitude of subscription offers according to the user's needs. The possibility of enjoying a portion of this service at no additional cost thanks to the Amazon Prime subscription is also a big plus for the platform. Thanks to all these qualities, Amazon Music has established itself as a major alternative to the bigwigs of the genre (Spotify, Apple Music).

Despite everything, we still blame Amazon's music streaming service for its lack of inspiration in terms of interface: wanting to remain too classic so as not to confuse regular users of such platforms, Amazon Music does not offer no real visual identity, which could potentially be offensive to it, especially with those looking for originality in the field.

Amazon Music

8

Amazon Music is an incredible opportunity for Amazon Prime subscribers to benefit from a catalog of over 2 million songs, all without having to pay a penny more. In this, it is about one of the most serious offers on the market, without counting the many types of subscriptions and tests offered to the audiophile. Overall, Amazon Music is an excellent alternative to the behemoths in the field, in particular thanks to its average price for services in the genre and the lossless HD and Ultra HD quality offered for a few years now on the platform. However, we regret a lack of visual identity in the interface, which is inspired a little too much by the competition, despite some good ideas.

Most

  • HD and Ultra HD, flawless sound quality
  • A huge catalog
  • Tons of trial offers and various types of subscriptions as needed

The lessers

  • A too classic interface (even if effective)
  • Work to do on the personalized recommendations algorithm

Interface - Ergonomics 7

Accessibility 8

Audio quality 9

Content / price ratio 9

See the offer
  • Most
  • The lessers
  • Details
  • HD and Ultra HD, flawless sound quality
  • A huge catalog
  • Tons of trial offers and various types of subscriptions as needed
  • A too classic interface (even if effective)
  • Work to do on the personalized recommendations algorithm

Interface - Ergonomics 7

Accessibility 8

Audio quality 9

Content / price ratio 9

See the offer
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