Amazon Music Unlimited vs. Amazon Prime Music

Which is right for you?

One of the benefits of an Amazon Prime membership is Prime Music, a music streaming service that's available at no charge to Prime members. Amazon also offers a standalone paid subscription music service, called Amazon Music Unlimited. We reviewed the features of both services to help you decide which is best for you.

Illustration showing two people using amazon music unlimited and amazon prime music
Lifewire / Nusha Ashjaee

Overall Findings

Amazon Prime Music
  • Easy to use.

  • Stream to numerous devices.

  • Unlimited song skips.

Amazon Music Unlimited
  • Doesn't require a Prime membership.

  • Massive song library.

  • HD and Ultra HD playback are available.

On its own, Prime Music is a worthy competitor to the free, ad-based streaming music services from Pandora, Spotify, and others. In addition, Prime Music is included at no additional cost to Amazon Prime members. There are no ads, and there are unlimited song skips. 

Amazon Music Unlimited comes at a premium, but provides the benefits of Prime Music and then some.

Price: Multiple Plans

Amazon Prime Music
  • Included in an Amazon Prime membership.

  • Included with the free trial and student memberships.

  • Ad-free.

Amazon Music Unlimited
  • Four subscription plans.

  • Free trial period.

  • Prime members receive a discount.

An Amazon Prime membership is required to stream music using Amazon Prime Music. There is no alternative way to sign up for the service. The benefits of a Prime Music membership come at no additional cost to Prime members.

Prime members can sign up for Amazon Music Unlimited for $7.99 per month or $79 per year. If you aren't a Prime member, you can subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited for $9.99 per month for the Amazon Music Unlimited Individual Plan.

Along with the Amazon Music Unlimited Individual plan, the retail giant offers several options depending on your circumstance:

  • Family Plan: For about double the price, the Music Unlimited family plan enables up to six family members to get Music Unlimited. This plan is only available to Prime members.
  • Student Plan: Currently-enrolled college students get Music Unlimited for $4.99/month. Amazon also has a Prime Student membership that offers music benefits.
  • Single Device Plan: For about half the price of Amazon Music Unlimited, this plan offers all the benefits of Unlimited, except it can be streamed only to one device.

Playlists: Massive Selection

Amazon Prime Music
  • More than two million songs.

  • Thousands of playlists created by Amazon's music experts.

  • Personalized streaming stations.

Amazon Music Unlimited
  • More than 50 million songs.

  • New songs and albums are added on the day they're released.

  • Thousands of curated playlists and personalized stations.

Amazon Prime Music titles change frequently. New titles are added often, and occasionally titles are removed. Prime Music also includes curated playlists designed to appeal to a variety of musical tastes. 

Music Unlimited offers everything Prime Music does, plus tens of millions of songs compared with Prime Music's two million-song library. In addition, Music Unlimited features a greater selection of new artists and complete catalogs of popular acts. Music Unlimited also offers exclusive spoken commentary from select artists, which Amazon calls Side-by-Side. It's curated playlists and song recommendations accurately reflect individual music tastes. 

Commands: Alexa Compatibility

Amazon Music Unlimited
  • Advanced Alexa commands.

  • Stream to multiple devices.

  • No offline streaming with the single-device plan.

Amazon Prime Music
  • Standard commands.

  • Stream to multiple devices.

  • Listen offline.

You can stream directly to your computer, car, smartphone (iOS or Android), Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Amazon Tap with either service. It's easy to download songs and listen offline. A convenience if you're about to get on a plane.

Maybe the most fun Music Unlimited exclusive, however, are the numerous additional Echo commands that are unlocked. For example: 

  • Alexa, play happy pop music.
  • Alexa, play the song with the lyrics 'when the levee breaks.'
  • Alexa, play Adele's newest single.

Echo's enhanced understanding and ability to speak naturally create a personalized listening experience, which isn't available with Prime Music.

Final Verdict: Let Your Budget Decide

Which is right for you? With all that Prime Music offers, why pay for Amazon's Music Unlimited service? If you listen to new music, then the significantly larger music library may make Music Unlimited worth the subscription price. This is especially true if you have an Amazon Echo.

Both music services are streamed from the same app. So, if you start with Prime Music and later upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited, you don't need to download anything new. Also, you won't lose the favorites and playlists you created. The Amazon Music app is available for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Fire tablets, and Roku. There's also a web player for most popular browsers.

The primary differences are better selection and enhanced Amazon Echo voice commands. Voice commands are available exclusively to Music Unlimited subscribers.

Still not sure? Amazon offers a 30-day free trial. It's easy to sign up for the free trial and easy to cancel your subscription.