3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Quit Spotify for Amazon Prime Music

Amazon surprised the music listening world with an announcement of a new feature in their Amazon Prime subscription called Amazon Prime Music, but it’s not nearly as good as the more popular Spotify or Google Play Music. Since Amazon Prime Music’s not quite ready to compete with the other services, we recommend that music lovers stick with Spotify or Google Play Music for now. It’s a nice add-on for those that already subscribe to Amazon Prime, but it’s not good enough to entice people away from the other more popular music streaming services.

amazon prime music

Amazon Prime Music tries to take on Spotify or Google Play Music, but it can’t compete yet.

Amazon Prime gives users a number of perks in addition to free 2-day shipping or reduced rate one-day shipping on products ordered from Amazon’s large online store. Prime members get access to free streaming video with an attractive and growing selection of older movies and plenty of TV shows, including content recently added from HBO. Users can enjoy these videos on their iPad, Kindle Fire tablets, the new Fire TV and a Roku 3 streaming set-top box.

Now the service adds Amazon Prime Music. The service includes a lot of different genres of music, but it’s not quite ready to compete for a few reasons.

Music Selection Limited

Amazon boasts over a million songs in their streaming service. That’s nice for people who already subscribe to Amazon Prime, but it doesn’t match what Spotify offers users. Google Play Music also gives its subscribers a better selection.

I subscribe to Google Play Music and searched for one of my favorite artists, Billy Joel. Amazon offers a number of songs as part of their streaming music service, but a lot of the songs only show up as available for purchase. All of these songs and albums show up as part of my streaming subscription in Google Play. Spotify streams these songs too, beating Amazon in numbers of songs available.

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amazon prime music limitations

Spotify and Google Play Music include more songs.

This problem gets worse for obscure music. Search for a song that’s not in the Top 40, or wasn’t when it came out, and it likely won’t show up (or will cost extra). Find an album, and usually only a handful of the songs will stream as part of the streaming service. The rest of the songs require an additional purchase.

It seems like Amazon didn’t design Amazon Prime Music to give people a comprehensive steaming music service like Spotify or Google Play Music. Instead, they give users a sampling of songs from their favorite artists and hope to entice us to buy more music from Amazon. It feels like a bait-and-switch.

Amazon Prime Music App

The Spotify and Google Play Music apps run well and don’t crash. In less than a day since I downloaded the Android version of the Amazon Prime Music app, it’s crashed a dozen times. With a weak data signal it won’t load at all. If I download some music to play when I’m offline, I can’t listen to it using the app unless I’ve got a good signal when I first launch the app.

prime music limited selection

The Prime Music selection can’t match Spotify or Google Play Music.

It looks like the iOS version suffers similar issues. Reading reviews on the iTunes store, we see that one person had to delete and reinstall to get the app working. Another person said the app often wouldn’t load content correctly. Reviews in the Google Play Store report similar problems and a general unhappiness about the app’s design.

Google Play Music and Spotify both launch fine, even when my data signal is weak. I can play downloaded songs and enjoy them offline without issue the vast majority of the time.

Finally, even with a good signal the app still crashes. Every time my phone connects to the Handsfree Bluetooth in my Honda CRV and the Car Home Ultra app runs, Amazon Prime Music crashes. Some might blame Car Home Ultra, but it worked great with the old Amazon music app.

Amazon Prime Music Only For Prime Members

Amazon tied their music service to their Prime membership subscriptions. Most will consider this a good thing since users get more for their $100/year Amazon Prime membership. People only get music for $10/month on Spotify or Google Play Music. Those subscription fees total $120 for one year and don’t offer the video streaming and shipping discounts.

What if a person doesn’t want to buy stuff from Amazon and prefers Netflix or some other video streaming service?

The large up front investment required with a $100 payment to get Amazon Prime membership will limit potential buyers too.

Amazon Prime Music gives Prime members a little more for their money. It doesn’t offer a music service that will compete with Google Play or Spotify until Amazon improves their selection and their app. Until then, I’ll keep Google Play Music and recommend that subscribers with Spotify do the same.

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  2. John Shaw says

    Google Play has a better selection. Unfortunately the app crashes extremely frequently.

  3. Kevin says

    When Google music was released, it was slammed for such a small library… almost all services are in the early days. I’m having a decent time finding my mildly obscure music. The benefits have grossly outweighed the cons for my situation; specifically no ads and playing the exact song I want right now.

  4. lynnneez says

    Actually, all of Billy Joel’s hits are available from a greatest hits album. Sometimes a song is available but only on a particular album. It might not be available on the album it was released on, but is available on a greatest hits album. Odd quirk of the service that you have to check carefully.

    In terms of spotify or other services, while I love amazon and prime and all that it entails, I think for now it’s more intended as a great perk for current prime members and an added in incentive for those considering prime for other uses such as to go along with your fire tv etc. I think the catalog is too limited for it to compete head on with other established services, for now at least. Although I did just read the other day that my favorite service, songza (or maybe it was rdio..) only has a million song catalog as well. Whichever service it was, both are doing well with that size of catalog. That being said , I use prime everyday exclusively during my commute.

  5. PACoug says

    It is now late November and the Prime catalog has expanded vastly. Virtually all of Billy Joel’s back catalog is now up, for example, and more current artists are already up with today’s music. Still significantly behind Spotify in jazz and classical which I use constantly, but now if my daughter has Spotify open on her phone I have a viable alternative.

    Amazon Prime video isn’t even close to being a viable alternative to Netflix, though. I will probably drop Spotify within the next year as Prime Music updates its catalog and its app. Already paying for Prime so now Spotify is slowly becoming redundant.

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