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Amazon launches on-demand streaming music service

on October 12, 2016, 9:34am

Better late than never: Amazon has thrown its hat into the streaming music wars with a new on-demand service.

Launching today, Amazon Music Unlimited is available at three price points: $3.99 for owners of its voice-control Echo device; $7.99 for Amazon Prime members; and $9.99 for non-Amazon Prime members. A six-account family plan for $14.99 per month will also soon be available.

As The Verge notes, Amazon Music Limited includes many of the same features offered by its competitors, including a recommendations engine, algorithmic and custom playlists, mobile apps, and a catalog of “tens of millions” of songs.

Using the Echo, users can search for songs simply by saying specific lyrics. The Echo can also search specific sub-genres, such as songs by U2 recorded in the 1980s.

Even with its unique price point and offerings, Amazon Music Limited will face a tall task in penetrating the fiercely competitive streaming market. As of September, Spotify has surpassed 40 million paid subscribers, while Apple Music boasts 17 million. TIDAL, meanwhile, touts four million subscribers and is pleading for someone to buy them.