Amazon Music Is Better Than Spotify and Apple Music COMBINED

Amazon Music

Image by GrrlScientist (CC by 2.0)

Spotify isn’t the greatest streaming music service anymore.  And Apple Music has even more work to do.  That’s right: Amazon Music completely crushes BOTH of them, COMBINED.

I use Spotify Premium every single day.  On two Macs, an iPhone, and sometimes a tablet.  I’ve tried Apple Music, Tidal, Google Play, and even YouTube Red.  Like a lot of people, I decided Spotify was the best.

Sure, I bitch about the crappy payouts artists get from streaming.  But I figure if I pay $9.99 a month, I’m part of the solution.  And Spotify is a great streaming music service.  They built the best one.

Now, I’m starting to think I want to switch my Spotify playlists over.  I’m wondering, how can I do that?

First impressions are everything.  Check out Amazon Music’s interface.  It’s totally clean!

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Give that UI developer a medal!

I’m not overwhelmed with 17 different playlists.  I’m not worried that my streams are going to get pumped onto Facebook.  I have less anxiety; it’s clean.

Turns out Norah Jones has a new album.  That was cleanly scrolling at the top.  Jumping in, I can clearly see the lead track based on listens. I can safely take a taste without getting overwhelmed.

Somebody hang this on a wall somewhere!

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What else might I like?  This isn’t my preferred genre, but, what’s KT Tunstall up to these days!?  It’s all neatly arranged on the right side, with plenty of calming whitespace.

It’s so easy to ramble around and explore.

Amazon f’d up a few things on the marketing side, but the damage is reversible.  Because they launched  a half-baked version before this one, people don’t think they have a full-blown catalog.  That’s wrong: they have pretty much everything.  All three major labels, plus a bunch of the indies that matter.

Drake is the biggest artist in the world.  Do they have Drake?  Definitely.  I can easily check out his catalog while listening to Norah Jones.

Sure, Spotify has the same thing. But this is so much easier!

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Amazon keeps it simple.  Just click around and sample.  They’ve made exploration dead simple.

 

amazonmusic4But what about lyrics?  Spotify has the best lyrics, right?  They did an amazing deal with Genius, they’re on the cutting edge!

WRONG!

Amazon integrates the lyrics right into their mobile app.  Amazon may have fail-boated with the Fire phone, but they definitely didn’t fail on their streaming music app.

It’s seamlessly integrated…

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But what about switching between laptop and phone?  Spotify is great at that.  And so is Amazon.

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Yeah, you can also port your music to anywhere.  Just pick a place and stream.

Amazon Music: OutputsBut the real advantage comes into play when you’re diving in deep.  I’m trying to put together a killer Rolling Stones playlist, with deep tracks, outtakes, whatever.  And it sucked on Spotify!  I was getting a headache.

Guess what: it’s dead easy on Amazon.  I’m exploring, not fighting chaos.  I’m finding stuff I like, and putting this band into perspective.

Oh, by the way: there’s an Echo version.  I heard it’s amazing, that Alexa crushes Siri, hands down.  But I don’t have an Echo.  I’ll review that later.

So what sucks about Amazon Music?

The marketing!

I know, this is technically called Amazon Music Unlimited.  I know Amazon’s PR person is going to email me wanting a correction.  We’ll get in a fight about it.  But Amazon should know better!

They launched a half-baked version before this one.  It’s called ‘Prime Music’ or something.  People are totally confused, because they didn’t even have the catalog.  But they’ve definitely fixed that part, with some nice user interface improvements since then.

Keep it simple Amazon.  Just call it ‘Amazon Music’.  That’s what people are searching for, it will stick.  And brutally kill the predecessors off.

But if there’s one thing Amazon did better than their interface, it’s the price.  Guess they’re the real pros in this arena.  $7.99 (with Prime) makes sense, and it will make tons of sense to millions of people.

And the Prime tie-in is genius.  I’m a half-baked minimalist.  I’m waging an unsuccessful war against stuff, so Amazon Prime doesn’t fit into that.  Now I’m thinking this might make sense for the stuff I DO order.

And I only need one streaming music service.

Nice one, Amazon.

20 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    This does look very good, particularly for those already in the Amazon ecosystem. I am curious to see what Pandora comes up with. I’ve had much better experience with their music discovery than other services. If they can combine all the functionality of Spotify’s interactive service with the discovery of their current service, and the ease of use of Amazon’s service, that could be a compelling option as well. In any event, my Spotify subscription is probably not long for this world.

    Reply
  2. Remi Swierczek

    Unfortunately for musicians and music business all inclusive streaming KILLS MUSIC MONETIZATION!
    UMG authorized SUICIDE will SHRINK $200B of music goodwill obvious to a lunatic to just $25B of subs and ads!

    Regardless of 800M credit cards at Apple or 300M credit cards at Amazon, Spotify sweat or YouTube fire place, ALL WORK VERY HARD to push music to $25B no money for anyone swamp! That might happen if they work hard by 2025 in the meantime conversion of 100,000 Radio stations can give us $100B business by 2020.

    Reply
  3. Leopoldo

    If Digital Music News attempts to be considered a serious publication should refrain to say this or that is better without a detailed comparison. Here Resnikoff’s opinion is absolutely naive, starting from the UI or because he simply finds it “easy”. What about the music? Amazon price of 7.99 is only for Prime Members, which means another 10.99 per month but that’s hidden in small letters (CNBC also is acting tricky here). Where can I read serious news about digital music industry? anybody knows?

    Reply
    • Paul Resnikoff

      It’s interesting that your comment berating DMN about the facts is actually missing some key facts itself.

      For starters, the ‘regular’ price is $9.99 per month; it’s $7.99 for Prime but also $79 per annum which drops the monthly further. There’s also a $3.99 Echo owner rate.

      Reply
  4. Brobbs

    How are the recommendations? My Spotify Discover and New Release radar playlists slay me week after week and I am adding dozens of new artists to my rotation constantly. Unless Amazon has killer discovery tools, not interested.

    Reply
  5. Tom Green

    Paul – I love your site, have for a long time – and will continue to!

    And let me preface by telling you that I’m a UX designer (someone very close to the usability and design of applications). I even write a blog called music UX, where I’ve reviewed about 50 different music apps over the past few years.

    But this review – egads! To say that Amazon’s offering is better than Spotify and Apple’s combined is fine, if you can back that up. But in the article, you didn’t mention Apple Music once. ONCE!!

    Even the comparisons to Spotify are pretty superficial – you stressed the cleanliness of the UI, which is fine (and I agree). And you alluded to the visibility of important data at the album detail level, and that navigation and discovery and impressive. But why are those things better than what Spotify does (how are they better)?. And why is playlist management (your example of the Rolling Stones) so much better on Amazon – where can Spotify improve?

    This review just felt like a knee-jerk, beat all others with the headline, sort of read.

    Cheers.

    Reply
    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      Everything you wrote is completely wrong.

      Just kidding.

      Actually, you’re right, I could have gone into a lot more detail. Let’s just say I’ve used both Spotify and Apple Music a lot, many, many hours. I used Amazon Music for 1 hour and could already make that assessment. That’s my initial impression. There is a broader, more in-depth piece on all of the UI details. I didn’t write that piece, which would take days frankly!

      Reply
  6. Zico

    I love everything you do for the industry Paul, however your view points are outdated.

    Reply
  7. Paul Lanning

    The lack of songwriter/producer/engineer/sideman credits on the streaming services represents a major downgrade from physical and packages. You have to search elsewhere for this info.

    Reply
    • Danwriter

      And that’s a considerable problem. The Recording Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing did a great job over the last decade creating protocols and standards for metadata including that information with downloads. The streaming environment is completely different in terms of accommodating that data. The importance of that kind of info for musicians, producers, engineers, etc. cannot be understated.

      Reply

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