Amazon Prime now comes with a full music catalog of 100 million songs and ad-free podcasts • TechCrunch

Amazon today announced a new benefit for its Prime members that could lure some subscribers away from other music services like Apple Music or Spotify. The company said it will now offer Prime subscribers a full music catalog of 100 million songs, instead of the previous more limited selection of just 2 million songs, and will make most of the top podcasts on its service available ad-free. Additionally, the Amazon Music app is being revamped, which includes a new “Podcast Previews” feature that will allow customers to listen to short clips as a way to discover new podcasts they might like.

The move is a direct shot at music streaming competitors, especially Spotify, which has entered the podcast market as a means of generating additional revenue. However, Spotify’s paying subscriber base is growing with the fact that they still have to listen to podcast ads despite paying for the service. Amazon Music’s promise of ad-free podcasts alongside a full music catalog could be a compelling alternative, the retail giant hopes.

Among the ad-free podcasts are shows from top brands like CNN, NPR, The New York Times and ESPN.

Other ad-free shows include the Wondery podcast catalog, such as “Dr. Death, ‘SmartLess’ and ‘Even the Rich,’ and new Amazon Exclusive shows such as ‘MrBallen Podcast: Strange, Dark & ​​Mysterious Stories?'” Suspect: Vanished in the Snow” “COLD Season Three: The Search for Sheree” “Killer Psyche Daily” “I Hear Fear,” narrated by Academy Award-nominated actress Carey Mulligan. and a weekly bonus episode of “The Old Man and the Three,” featuring former NBA player JJ Redick. The Amazon Exclusive podcast series “Baby, this is Keke Palmer,” from actress and entrepreneur Keke Palmer (NOPE) also debuts today.

Amazon, in announcing the news, acknowledged that Prime Music’s more limited catalog was no longer the big selling point for consumers it once was.

“When Amazon Music first launched for Prime members, we offered an ad-free catalog of 2 million songs, which was completely unique for streaming music at the time,” said Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music, in a statement about traffic. “We continue to innovate on behalf of our customers and bring even more entertainment to Prime members beyond the convenience and value they already enjoy. We look forward to members experiencing not only a massively expanded catalog of songs, but also the largest selection of top ad-free podcasts anywhere, at no additional cost to their subscription,” he added.

In addition to the service expansion and ad-free podcasts, the Amazon Music app will get a new look, notably with the launch of the new Podcasts Preview feature. This allows customers to listen to a short soundbite from a podcast episode to help them decide if it’s something they’d like.

Prime members will use the main Amazon Music app to access the full music catalog, Amazon says.

The company’s previously broadest music service, Amazon Prime Unlimited, won’t stop. The service, which costs $8.99/month or $89/year, will give users access to all songs on demand in HD (16-bit/44.1 kHz) and UHD 24-bit/44, 1 to 192 kHz) on all devices. Additionally, this premium tier offers millions of songs in spatial audio format.

The changes follow Amazon’s move to raise the annual price of its free Prime shipping program earlier this year from $119 to $139, raising concerns that a Prime membership is becoming too expensive — especially given the current economic climate where consumers are struggling with the cost of goods and gasoline. While Amazon has added other perks in recent days, such as a Grubhub+ subscription, a large music catalog could offer a better selling point if it allows customers to cancel another music subscription and make a switch.

additional reference: Ivan Mehta

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