Amazon Music
Amazon Music

What is Amazon Music?

Amazon is an online store founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos. The visionary named his store after the Amazon River – the biggest river in the world because he purposed to make it the biggest bookstore in the world.

When Was Amazon Music Birthed?

Amazon music was initially known as Amazon MP3. It was launched on September 25, 2007.

Amazon Music is a platform for music streaming and store operated by It is the first music store to be able to sell music without (DRM) Digital Rights Management from four major music labels namely Sony BMG, EMI, and Universal.

Originally all tracks were sold in 256 kilobits-per-second variable bitrate MP3 format. This was done without customer watermarking or DRM.

Soon after the United States launched Amazon Music the following other countries followed suit;

  • United Kingdom – December 3, 2008
  • Germany – April 1, 2009
  • France – June 10, 2009
  • Australia – December 3, 2009 (German Edition)
  • Switzerland – December 3, 2009 (German Edition)
  • Japan – November 10, 2010
  • Spain – October 4, 2012
  • Italy – October 4, 2012
  • Mexico – November 7, 2018

Available Catalog

When Amazon Music was first launched in the United States, it offered well over 2 million songs produced by over 180,000 artists with over 20,000 labels. Undeniably that was a big way to start with big names like the EMI Music and Universal Music Group among them. A few months later music groups like Warner Music joined in December 2007, and the following month January 2008 Sony BMG followed suit.

Currently, the catalog figure falls at 29.1 million songs. Amazon Music went global in January 2008. However, it is still limited to some countries by checking users credit card issuing state.

The United Kingdom was the first to receive international version on December 3, 2008, followed by German, Austrian, French, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Canadian and Indian version.

Apart from digital Purchases, Amazon music also has a streaming music service. Prime Music is a service offering unlimited streaming of a limited music catalog which has been running and is available to Amazon Prime Subscribers in many countries since mid-2014.

Music Unlimited is a full – catalog streaming services and has been available since late 2016 as a standalone or additional subscription.

Platforms that are supported

Streaming music catalog from Amazon Music is accessible from web player or player apps in multiple platforms namely iOS, MacOS, Windows, FireOS, Android, Alexa devices, some automobiles, and smart TVs.

Purchasable music catalog for Amazon Music is accessible from web site by searching for a title or an artist name or by using a store embedded on the player’s apps.

To download already purchased music, Amazon Music offers two options, namely;

  • Amazon Music Player (runs on Windows 7 or later and Mac OS X 10.9 and later)
  • Zip file of MP3s downloaded from Amazon’s web player.


Recently in November 2018, Amazon Music announced it will be available on Android TV.

Amazon Music Partnerships

Huge brand names have partnered with Amazon as a marketing strategy, such brands include;

  • Pepsi – February 1, 2008, Pepsi introduced a Pepsi Stuff promotion that allowed customers to download MP3, s from Sony BMG, EMI, and Warner.
  • RockStar Games ‘2008 title Grand Theft Auto IV has to connect with Amazon MP3. Players receive emails to a link to buy marked songs from Amazon Music.
  • Since September 2008 Myspace has managed to sell Amazon Music as part of its Myspace Music Feature.

Reaction from Onset

Amazon Music was generally well received from the onset. From unofficial Apple Weblog, reviewer lack of DRM made MP3 cheaper compared to iTunes songs even though iTunes had better experience compared to Amazon Music.

Initially, Amazon Music was not watermarking tracks, if any track was found watermarked investigations showed the tracks came with watermarked labels to identify the retailer who sold the track.

Genesis of Watermarking

Policy changes were made in 2011, and certain explicitly labeled tracks embed with unique identifiers. The introduced Amazon Music labels are;

  • Random number Amazon assigns to your order
  • Amazon store name
  • Purchase date and time
  • Codes that identify the album and song (UPC and ISRC)
  • Amazon Digital Signature
  • Identifier (used to determine whether the audio is modified)
  • Amazon puts the initial part your email address linked to your account.

Amazon Music player (Cloud Player)

Amazon Music player (initially known as Cloud player) is related to the digital music Unlimited and Prime streaming services, and also the music store for purchases.

These players allow users to play and store their music from mobile apps, web browser, and desktop applications, particular smart TV, Sonos and Bose (United State only).

There are 250 tracks of free storage for Amazon Music Players account. However, music purchased does not count towards the storage limit. Music stored in Amazon Music can be downloaded using Android, desktop or iOS using Amazon Music application.

Music is uploaded using the Amazon Music player for PC and Mac. Amazon Music allows a maximum of 10 devices to be authorized. Through a web interface, customers can deauthorize their old devices.

In May 2013 Amazon Music for PC was launched. It is a downloadable windows application used to play music outside the web browser. In October 2013 the OS X version of Amazon Music was released.

A new streaming outlet for entertainment and music enthusiasts on Denon Electronics HEOS by Denon wireless sounds system became available on December 8, 2015, via Amazon Prime Music.

Music Unlimited is a full-catalog unlimited streaming service, which is available as a monthly or annual subscription. It was released on October 12, 2016, and it is possible without an Amazon Prime Account. The service has gone ahead to expand to the United Kingdom, Austria, and Germany on November 14, 2016.

Generally, with Amazon Music unlimited you have access to great features and functionality of Prime Music and much more. Unlimited is said to offer tens of millions of songs and further thousands of expert-programmed stations and playlists which includes the hottest and latest releases from famous and upcoming new artists.

Final Thoughts

Amazon Music is a growing industry with vast opportunities. It is better than ever with an ever-increasing catalog of songs and brand new layouts.

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