Amazon Music Unlimited for Students comes to the UK

Update 29.08.2017: To coincide with the new university term, Amazon has launched Amazon Music Unlimited for Students in the UK. 

Amazon Music Unlimited for Students comes to the UK

The feature, which has been available in the US for some time, will let university students stream songs and playlists from Amazon Music Unlimited’s catalogue of over 40 million songs for £4.99/month. The standard price is £7.99/month for Prime members or £9.99/month for non-Prime customers.

For a limited time, Amazon Music Unlimited is also offering discounted Prime Student membership which will give them six months access for £6. In addition, Amazon Music Unlimited can be controlled through Alexa using commands such as “Alexa, play classical music for studying,” or “Alexa, play music for a house party.”

READ MORE: The best Alexa Skills

Music Unlimited launched in the UK in November. Its standard subscription cost puts it level with Spotify and Apple Music while a family plan costs £14.99 per month or £149 per year and allows six family members to share a subscription. Elsewhere, the Echo plan allows unlimited streaming from a single Amazon Echo or Echo Dot device for £3.99 per month.  

The original article continues below. 

Amazon already has one toe in the world of streaming music. Prime Music is a freebie to anyone who subscribes to Amazon Prime and boasts “over a million songs”. But while I don’t know anyone who uses that service exclusively, the ecommerce giant is about to dip a second toe in the water with Music Unlimited – a far more exciting-looking paid option with Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music firmly in its sights.

Unlike Prime Music, Music Unlimited boasts “tens of millions of songs” according to the company. Sony, Universal and Warner are all onboard, so it’s an option that should be taken seriously – especially if you happen to be a Prime member, or own an Echo speaker.amazon_music_unlimited_launches

That’s because there are three main tiers of pricing, and they get cheaper the more tied into Amazon’s world you get. If your only contact with Amazon is buying occasional products, you’ll be charged $10 per month – that puts it level with Spotify’s offering, but if you’re a Prime member, that instantly drops to $8 per month. Better still, if you own an Amazon Echo speaker, there’s a special tier entitled “For Echo”, which grants full access to the service on a single Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap device for $4 per month. That’s an extremely tempting proposition, assuming the music library is up to snuff. Up to six people can share a family plan, priced at $15 per month, too.

READ NEXT: Amazon Echo review: Siri for your home, but should you wait for Google Home?

But back to the Echo stuff, because that’s where things get interesting. Amazon says that you’ll be able to ask Alexa to play music in a conversational tone, without needing the name of a specific album or track. You could ask Alexa to play the song of the day, say, or the latest album by the Foo Fighters. It’ll even be able to guess a tune based on a (spoken – you don’t have to sing it) sample of the lyrics, and promises to get better at giving you music you like based on what it learns about your listening habits. Clever stuff.

For now, it’s just in the US, but it’s expected to launch in the UK, Germany and Austria later this year, at which point we’ll really be able to answer the question on everybody’s lips: is it a Spotify killer?

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