Amazon has opened the entire Amazon Music catalog to Prime subscribers, but isn’t removing channels from the streaming service altogether.
While all 100 million songs will be available to Prime subscribers ad-free, users will still have to listen in shuffle mode unless they add a Music Unlimited subscription. Previously, there were only around two million songs available ad-free with unlimited skips for Prime subscribers.
This means that Prime subscribers will be able to access all available songs from an artist, album or playlist, but will not be able to listen to them in order. You also won’t be able to just pick a song and just hear it unless you keep skipping until you get to it.
While it’s still a far cry from rivaling Spotify and Apple Music, it can be a compelling option for existing Prime subscribers looking to cut their digital service budget and don’t mind shuffle mode.
You can still enjoy Taylor Swift’s album Midnights – which incredibly occupied Billboard’s top 10 this week thanks to its streaming success – in its entirety, you simply won’t be able to listen to it in the order that Taylor wanted him to be heard.
If you want the full-fledged Apple Music rival, you can still get lossless, spatial audio, and the ability to listen in any order you want (and that Taylor wanted) with a Music Unlimited subscription.
Amazon is also removing ads from some of its in-house podcast libraries in the music app and launching a new feature called podcast previews. Amazon calls it a “digestible short sentence” (via The Verge) that will let listeners get the gist of the show before deciding to dive into the full episode. Amazon hopes this will be of great help to content producers looking to boost discovery.
Of course, none of this is absolutely free. You’ll need a current Amazon Prime membership to be able to access all that ad-free music and podcasts.