Image Credit: Amazon
Get your head around Amazon Music’s various subscription tiers and learn how to upload your own music there for free!
E-commerce giant Amazon has a few different music streaming models targeted at different audiences. We hope to help you get your head around everything Amazon Music and even teach you how to upload your own music to Amazon Music for free.
Click below to jump to one of the following:
- How to upload to Amazon Music
- What is Amazon Music?
How to upload to Amazon Music
Uploading your own music to streaming services, stores and social media platforms is easy with RouteNote. This is no different on Amazon Music. Selecting Amazon Music when distributing through RouteNote will send your music to Amazon Music, as well as Amazon’s Digital Music store. Where some music distributors like UnitedMasters charge additional fees to send to Amazon Music, RouteNote can send your music to all major streaming services for free.
To get started, sign up for a free RouteNote account here, head to the Distribution tab and select Create New Release. Here you’ll enter the metadata, and upload the tracks and artwork of your release. Be sure to select Amazon Music in the Manage Stores section.
Once you’ve finished your release, you can choose whether to distribute using our Free or Premium models. RouteNote Free has absolutely zero fees, while the artist keeps 85% of the revenue. RouteNote Premium costs a small fee and annual cost, while the artist keeps 100% of the revenue. Changing tiers at any time is as easy as clicking a switch. Features and stores are the same on both tiers, plus RouteNote artists always keep 100% of the rights to their music.
Your music will then be sent to our moderation team. They should check, fix and approve your release within the week. Statistics, earnings reports and payments are made to your RouteNote account every month. Statistics and earnings reports breakdown exactly how much each track has made in every store/country. Payments can be securely deposited to a PayPal or bank account.
RouteNote is great for artists and independent labels alike, with powerful tools like the split tool, making label management or royalty payments to collaborators super easy.
What is Amazon Music?
Amazon MP3, Amazon Music, Amazon Music Free, Amazon Music Prime, Amazon Music Unlimited… it’s easy to get lost in all of the different tiers of Amazon Music, but we hope to help you get your head around it.
How did Amazon Music start?
Amazon launched their digital music store Amazon MP3 in the US in 2008 with contracts from all major labels such as EMI, Universal, Warner and Sony BMG, plus many independents. Over the next few years, the store expanded across much of Europe, the Americas, and parts of Asia.
In 2014, Amazon started offering a limited catalog for streaming to Amazon Prime subscribers at no extra cost. In 2016, Amazon launched Amazon Music Unlimited. Music Unlimited offers their full-catalog of music as a stand-alone tier, though is discounted for Prime members. Both tiers are available today and music can still be purchased on Amazon.com or the Amazon Music app on some devices.
Today, Amazon Music is available in 47 countries around the world, but offerings (Amazon Music Unlimited, Amazon Music Prime or both) vary between markets. As of January 2020, Amazon Music had more than 55 million customers, which puts them behind leaders Spotify and Apple Music, and ahead of other Western streaming services like YouTube Music and Deezer.
The basic features of Amazon Music
The layout of the Amazon Music mobile app is similar to most other major music streaming services. Each page can be filtered by MUSIC or PODCASTS.
The HOME screen compiles both personalized and top stations (with DJ Mode), albums, songs, playlists, video playlists (with music videos and documentaries) and podcasts. Find out how to create a playlist on Amazon Music. Find the most-followed playlists here.
The FIND tab includes a search bar at the top, followed by music genres and other buttons to filter music and podcasts.
Any music and podcasts saved, as well as MP3, CD and vinyl (using AutoRip) purchases from Amazon.com will appear in the LIBRARY tab. Unfortunately, you can’t upload your own music purchased outside of Amazon.com, as you can on services like Apple Music and YouTube Music. Music and podcasts here can be filtered and sorted to find exactly what you’re after.
The final option in the navigation bar is ALEXA. Amazon’s voice assistant is tightly woven into the Amazon Music experience, understanding context, and back and forth conversations. Tap ALEXA to summon the voice assistant or enable Hands free with Alexa to summon her from anywhere in the app, by simply saying “Alexa…”.
In 2019, Amazon Music launched Amazon Music HD. This gives listeners access to the full catalog available in HD lossless CD quality (16-bit/44.1 kHz), and many songs in Ultra HD (up to 24-bit/192 kHz), as well as exclusive Ultra HD remastered albums, plus curated HD and Ultra HD playlists.
Much like competitors TIDAL, the lossless quality option was initially priced above regular subscriptions. In May 2021, on the same day Apple Music launched lossless audio at no extra cost, Amazon dropped the price and offered HD/Ultra HD to regular Amazon Music subscribers.
Alongside HD music, Amazon also introduced spatial audio. Using just left and right channels in any headphones or select smart speakers, spatial audio can provide an immersive, three-dimensional experience to thousands of songs mixed in Dolby Atmos or Sony’s 360 Reality Audio.
Lyrics are available on Amazon Music provided by LyricFind and MusixMatch. Here’s how to upload your own lyrics to your music on all major streaming services. Dive deeper into your favorite songs with the X-Ray feature. This shows fun facts around tens of millions of songs.
Amazon Music subscription types
As mentioned earlier, subscription types and prices vary between markets, so it’s best to see what tiers are available to you from Amazon. We’ll cover the most common subscription types available and prices in US dollars for Prime and non-Prime members.
Amazon Music Free
Amazon Music Free is an ad-supported free streaming tier. The free tier grants users access to Amazon’s full music catalog, plus thousands of stations, playlists and millions of podcast episodes including Amazon Originals, across devices. Additional features like ad-free playback, on-demand music, HD music, spatial audio and offline playback are not available without a subscription.
Users don’t need to be Prime subscribers or even have a credit card linked to their account for Amazon Music Free.
Amazon Music Prime
Included at no additional cost to Amazon Prime memberships, Amazon Music Prime sits somewhere between Music Free and Music Unlimited. The biggest addition over Amazon Music Free is ad-free playback, while the biggest omission over Amazon Music Unlimited is the catalog. Music Prime offers listeners 2 million songs on-demand, whereas Music Unlimited offers 90 million songs. Offline playback is available, streaming quality is limited to 320 kbps, and there’s no spatial audio. Downloading music for playback offline is great for saving mobile data. Those with T-Mobile’s Music Freedom plan can stream without counting towards their monthly limits.
Amazon Prime is free for the first month, then $14.99 per month or $139 per year. Discounts are available for students and those on government benefits, with prices at $7.49 per month and $6.99 per month respectively. Prime also offers subscribers faster delivery, Prime Video, Prime Gaming, Prime Reading, Amazon Photos, Prime Try Before You Buy and exclusive deals.
Amazon Music Unlimited
For the full music streaming experience, and something similar to Spotify Premium and Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited offers 90 million songs, ad-free and on-demand. Like Amazon Music Prime, playback is available offline and unlike Music Prime, all 90 million songs are available in HD quality, with over 7 million available in Ultra HD.
Amazon Music Unlimited recently received a price hike in the US, bringing the cost up to $8.99 per month for Prime members, after the one month free trial. Non-Prime subscribers can subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited for $9.99 per month. Amazon Music Unlimited for Students is also available to those already subscribed to Prime at an additional $0.99 per month. Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan provides the full Music Unlimited experience, with six profiles, each with personalized recommendations and individual libraries, for $14.99 per month. Prime members can subscribe to the annual plan at $149 per year. There’s also an Amazon Music Unlimited Single Device Plan. Much like Apple Music Voice Plan, it’ll give you the full Amazon Music Unlimited experience, but only on one Echo device or Fire TV. This subscription also received a one dollar price hike, making it $4.99 per month.
All Amazon Music tiers compared
That’s a lot of tiers! Here’s a handy list to help get your head around the different options.
- Amazon Music Free – ad-supported: free (no subscription)
- Amazon Music Prime – limited catalog and features: free with Prime
- Amazon Music Unlimited – full catalog and features: $8.99/month with Prime, $9.99/month without Prime
- Amazon Music Unlimited for Students – full catalog and features: $0.99/month with Prime
- Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan – six individual profiles: $14.99/month, $149/year with Prime
- Amazon Music Unlimited Single Device Plan – full catalog on one Echo/Fire device: $4.99 per month
How to stream Amazon Music
Amazon Music is available on web, Mac/PC apps, iOS, Android, Fire tablets, smart TVs, game consoles, smart watches, The Mighty some cars, and Alexa-enabled devices like Echo, Sonos and Bose smart speakers. Find out how to authorize a device here. The mobile apps also feature Car Mode, which simplifies the interface for driving. Android devices support SD card downloads.
While device support is fairly comprehensive, notable exceptions are some devices that are direct competitors to Amazon such as Google Nest devices and Apple HomePods.
How does Amazon Music compare with the competition?
The majority of basic features on paid music streaming services, like Spotify Premium and Amazon Music Unlimited, are the same, however there are subtle differences that are worth considering before parting with your cash.
- Sizeable music catalog
- Integrates with music purchases from Amazon.com
- HD and spatial audio
- Plenty of pricing options including free
- Discounts for Prime members
- No uploading personal music purchased outside of Amazon
- Poor support for rival smart speakers
If you want to give Amazon Music a go, use these instructions to import your library from rival services.
How can Amazon Music help me as an artist?
What is Amazon Music for Artists?
Much like Spotify for Artists and Apple Music for Artists, Amazon Music for Artists is where you go for insights and customization over your artist profile on the streaming service. Once you’ve claimed your profile, you can assign different users various levels of access between Owner, Admin and Viewer.
You can view detailed reports of your statistics with the latest number of streams, location insights and Alexa data.
Amazon Music for Artists also lets you update your artist profile image, to ensure your branding is identifiable across social media and streaming platforms.
Once your new music is available on Amazon Music, you can pitch your release for playlist consideration. Find out how to pitch here.
One of Amazon Music’s latest features is Spotlight. With Spotlight, artists can connect with fans by recording a personal voice message to be played on their artist profile. This feature is available to artists with at least 3,000 fans.
With Twitch being owned by Amazon too, you can even link your Twitch channel, so that live streams appear on your artist page.
The glaring flaw in Amazon Music for Artists is artist bios. Amazon Music lacks bios and they know this is a feature loved by artists.
How much does Amazon Music pay-per-stream?
As streaming services pay artists on a pro-rata basis, it’s inaccurate to give the pay rate of a stream for any platform. This model collects all of the revenue earned on services from advertisements and subscription fees, then splits it based on the number of streams earned in a month.
Several sites have calculated a rough average of how much streaming services payout each month. Most sites estimate a stream on Amazon Music to be worth around $0.004.
This figure is around the same as Spotify. As Amazon Music has a free model and advertisements generally pay out far less than subscription fees, it scores significantly lower than rivals like Apple Music and Napster.
How to market your music with PUSH.fm
Our friends over at PUSH.fm help artists and online creators market their music for free.
One of the campaign tools available is Smart Links. Fully customizable, Smart Links are a single landing page that links to all of the stores and social pages that your music lives on.
As your fans open your Smart Links and click through to the various stores/social platforms, PUSH.fm will record this data and present it to you. Being able to see where fans are heading is essential in targeting specific audiences for future releases.