Amazon is launching its Prime Music streaming service in the UK, hoping to undercut Spotify and Apple Music by bundling it as a free add-on to its Prime customers.
Prime Music comes to the UK after launching in the US in June, where Amazon claims to have more users than Tidal, Deezer, Rdio, Rhapsody and Google Play combined, but not Spotify which has 60 million users worldwide.
It forms part of Amazon’s attempt to cement its Prime service within people’s lives and so encourage shopping on its online store.
However, the music service is not quite on a par with rivals such as Spotify and Apple Music as it gives users access to only 1m tracks. Apple’s service has 30m tracks and Spotify’s library is greater than 30m.
“We’re not trying to go head to head with Spotify or Apple,” said Steve Bernstein, director of Amazon’s digital music services in Europe. “We’re trying to be the only one to offer all forms of music from discs, downloads and streaming, all in one place.”
“We have lots of customers for which spending £120 a year on a music subscription service is too much,” said Paul Firth head of music for Amazon UK. “The best music streaming service is the one you already have.”
Prime Music will be available through smartphone apps for Android and iOS, as well as through the browser and Amazon’s Fire tablets and smartphone.
Users will be able to stream tracks and playlists, download them for offline playback and keep playing them for up to 30 days without connecting to the internet.
Apple Music is currently available for a free three-month trial, before the £9.99 or £14.99 family subscriptions kick in, while services such as Spotify offer a £9.99 subscription or a free service that includes advertisements.
Prime customers currently pay £79 a year for a range of services including on demand video streaming, free next-day delivery from Amazon’s online store and a Kindle lending library.
Amazon said the US launch of Prime Music last year had been “incredibly successful”.
“If you were to take a lot of the other better-known streaming services out there like rdio, Rhapsody, Deezer, Tidal and Google Play All Access, we have more active users in any given month than all those ones have combined,” said Steve Bernstein, director of Amazon Digital Music UK
“We don’t know how Apple Music will fit into everything, but in the last six months we’ve already seen our number of active users grow by over 100% on a monthly basis, also on a weekly and daily basis as well.”