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Amazon rolls out new music streaming service

28 July 2015, 11:54 | Written by Laurence Day

Amazon has joined in the streaming fracas today with the UK launch of Amazon Prime Music, its answer to Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal.

The service comes with Amazon's £79-a-year Prime subscription, which also offers a trove of other features such as free next-day delivery on shopping, a Kindle library, and on-demand video.

The Prime catalogue totals over a million different tracks, and roughly 500 curated playlists, but has some notable omissions, chiefly artists on Universal Music Group (Kanye West, Katy Perry, ABBA etc.). When Prime launched in the US last year, UMG's music was also unavailable; The New York Times believe this is due to a royalty dispute.

Apple Music and Spotify each boast about 30 million tracks. Music you have purchased, regardless of label or feelings on streaming services, will appear in your Prime library.

Paul Firth, the head of music at Amazon UK, said to the BBC: "Consuming music is evolving and we want to maintain pace with that evolution. What has happened in the last few weeks is that knowledge amongst the British public of music streaming services has increased."

He also noted that they want to focus on their own customers rather than the competition, and that for some people £120 is "a lot of money to spend on music".

Steve Bernstein, the director of Amazon Digital Music UK, added "If you were to take a lot of the other better-known streaming services out there like rdio, Rhapsody, Deezer, Tidal and Google Play All Access, we have more active users in any given month than all those ones have combined... we don't know how Apple Music will fit into everything, but in the last six months we've already seen our number of active users grow by over 100% on a monthly basis, also on a weekly and daily basis as well."

The service will also combine the companies sales data with the "specialist knowledge" of a range of record labels, music journalists, bloggers and myriad sonic experts to curate playlists and recommened new sounds.

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