Amazon's music streaming service makes a lot of sense if you're already embedded into the Amazon ecosystem and have one or more Echo or Fire TV devices. One reason for that is that many songs have lyrics which can be shown in time with the music on your TV, in the Alexa app or on your Echo Show smart display.

Many people think the service is called Prime Music, but that's only of three tiers available, and is the most limited.

Fairly recently, Amazon launched Music HD which offers CD-quality (or better) audio for those who want something other than compressed MP3 quality. Music HD also includes a smaller selection of '3D' music that can be enjoyed on a speaker such as the Amazon Echo Studio.

This means there's quite a range of prices and options, and he we'll explain them all so you can see how much you get with an Amazon Prime subscription, right up to the family tier of Music HD.

Do Amazon Prime members get Amazon Music free?

Yes, but this isn't the same thing as Amazon Music Unlimited. In essence there are three different services:

So how do they compare? As the Prime part suggests, the first service is included as part of an Amazon Prime membership which costs £79.99 / $119 per year and gives you access to around 2 million songs, a fraction of the  of the 50 million songs you get with Amazon Music Unlimited.

Move up to Music HD and you get millions of songs (not the full 50m, mind) with at least double the bitrate, to use a technical term, and up to 10x the bitrate of songs streamed via the standard Music service.

Even if you can live with the 2 million tracks available with Prime Music, it's worth noting that Prime members don't get it for free: it’s one of the benefits of having a Prime subscription, along with Amazon Video and the faster Prime delivery for items ordered from Amazon's website. Don't get us wrong, it's excellent value compared to paying for Spotify and Netflix separately, then paying separately for delivery on everything you buy from Amazon.

Like other streaming services, Amazon Prime Music lets you stream music on demand over your internet connection. That can be on your phone, but it can also be on your computer or via an Amazon Echo smart speaker. The latter is one of the most convenient ways to access Prime Music since you can simply ask Alexa to play a song, album or playlist.

Naturally, you can also download songs and albums to your phone so they can be played offline.

Amazon Prime Music on Echo 2

For an in-depth comparison, read Prime Music vs Amazon Music Unlimited.

How much does Amazon Music cost?

This is where it can get a little confusing, so we've put together this handy table.

  Single account Family account Discounted price for Prime Members Via one Echo or Fire TV
Amazon Prime (including Prime Music) £7.99 / $12.99 N/A N/A N/A
Amazon Music Unlimited £10.99 / $10.99 £14.99 / $14.99 £7.99 / $7.99 £3.99 / $3.99
Amazon Music HD £14.99 / $14.99 £19.99 / $19.99  £12.99 / $12.99 N/A

Those are the monthly prices but as we've said, you can pay annually if you are a Prime member, which makes it cheaper.

A Prime subscription costs £79.99 / US$119 a year which means Prime Music can cost as little as £6.67 / $9.92 per month. And if you want to add a Family Music Unlimited account to your Prime subscription, you can pay £149 / $149 per year which equates to £12.42 / $12.42.

The main limitation of the Individual plan is that members of a household all have to share the same playlists and library. If you want your own 'account' which contains only the music and playlists you like, then you'll need a Family plan which costs £14.99 / $14.99 per month.

The outlier is the option to get Music Unlimited on a single Amazon Echo device for £3.99 / $3.99 per month. That's great if you only have one Echo, or only one through which you usually listen to music. But you won't be able to listen to the full library of 50 million songs on any other Echos you own, nor play those tracks using the Echo's multiroom audio feature.

Amazon Prime Music Library

How can I listen to Amazon Prime Music?

There are lots of ways you can listen to Amazon Music. You can ask Alexa to play songs on your Echo, but you can also download the Amazon Music app. This is the same app you’d get if you subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited and it's simply called Amazon Music. It's available for Android, iOS and is a built-in app on Amazon Fire tablets and Fire TV.

Here's what it looks like on an iPhone:

Amazon Prime Music iPhone app

The apps do exactly what you'd expect: you can search for songs, create your own playlists, listen to tracks on demand and download them to your device so you can listen without an internet connection. All of this is with ad-free playback.

Amazon Music is also available via a web browser.

Amazon Prime Music Library

You'll find on Amazon's website a full list of supported devices.

What's My Music in Amazon Music?

One of the tabs in the app is My Music. This houses the music you’ve bought from Amazon, and can include CDs you’ve purchased because of Amazon’s ‘autorip’ feature that gives you access to the MP3 versions.

Looking for alternatives to Amazon Music? Check out our comparison of all the best music streaming services.