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November 14, 2016

Amazon Unlimited launches in UK with Amazon Echo deal

Amazon Unlimited music service takes on Spotify and Apple Music.

By Alexander Sword

Amazon has launched its music subscription service Amazon Unlimited in the UK, taking on players such as Spotify and Apple.

The service, which also launched today in Germany and Austria, will cost £9.99 per month as a standalone service, or £7.99 per month for Prime members. There is also a higher value price of £79 per year.

Amazon Echo or Echo Dot owners will have access to a cheaper deal starting at £3.99 per month. The service will be integrated with Amazon’s voice command service Alexa, allowing users to ask Alexa to play certain songs or types of music. This can include mood-related commands such as ‘happy’, or artist nicknames, the Amazon Music director told Reuters.

Amazon Unlimited will offer 40 million songs, compared to the 2 million or so offered by Prime Music.

Subscribers are offered a 30-day free trial before being automatically billed for their chosen plan.

Amazon UnlimitedThe separation from Prime shows that Amazon is aiming to offer a service that competes with Spotify and others rather than simply a bundled product to make Prime more attractive.

According to Statista, as of September 2016, Spotify has 40 million paying subscribers worldwide. Apple Music, another rival which launched in 2015, has 17 million subscribers.

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These services offer 30 million and around 40 million tracks respectively.

The increasing number of competitors underlines the wider picture of music revenues moving to digital channels.

The Global Music Report 2016 by the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), surveying the 2015 year, found that digital sales now contributed 45 percent of industry revenues compared to 39 percent physical sales.

Year-on-year, streaming revenues were up 45.2 per cent, helping to drive 3.2 per cent global growth.

However, the figure is still relatively low, reaching $2.9 billion in 2015, despite achieving four-fold growth in the five year period.

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