Spotify Premium and Amazon Music Unlimited are two of the best music streaming services available right now. Unfortunately, both require you to pay cold, hard cash for access. So it’s important to know which is best for you personally before signing up.
Amazon Echo owners have myriad ways to listen to music, including these two streaming services. So we thought we should put the two to the test specifically on Amazon’s smart speakers. This is Spotify Premium vs. Amazon Music Unlimited for Echo owners!
Amazon Echo Devices
The Echo, Echo Dot, and Tap are smart speakers that recognize voice commands thanks to Amazon’s personal assistant, Alexa.
You can ask Alexa to create a list about anything, read news headlines, and yes, play music. There are a few minor differences between these three Echo devices. The Echo and Tap score well for sound quality, while the Dot really needs to be paired with a better speaker to be worth buying.
The Echo Tap is the most portable of the three, meaning you can bring your favorite tunes with you wherever you go.
Now that the boring stuff is out of the way let’s focus in on how Spotify Premium and Amazon Music Unlimited compare.
Price Is Important
Amazon Music Unlimited costs $3.99/month for use on a single Echo, Dot, or Tap. However, the price bumps up considerably if you want to use it on more than one device. For Prime members looking to stream on up to six devices, Amazon Music Unlimited is $7.99/month. And for non-Prime members (who won’t get much use from an Echo device), it’s $9.99/month.
You can also get a 30-day free trial by using the “Alexa, try Music Unlimited” command. You’ll see a $1 hold on your charge card account that disappears within 72 hours. You may also want to consider picking the family plan. This offers access for up to six people at a reduced cost.
Prime subscribers can also pay annually for Amazon Music Unlimited. It costs $79/year for an individual user and $149/year for a family plan.
Amazon also offers discounts for students. You can get six months of Amazon Music Unlimited for just $6 and then $4.99/month after that.
Spotify Premium, on the other hand, costs $9.99/month in most cases. It also offers a 30-day free trial.
You must terminate the service within that timeframe to prevent a charge. Additionally, there is a $4.99/month option for college students. It bundles Spotify Premium with Hulu, giving you streaming video as well as music.
Furthermore, there is a Spotify Premium plan for families, too. It buys Premium for up to six people for $14.99/month. Each person gets his or her own account. However, be aware that you can only link one Spotify account with your Echo.
Comparing the Music
Spotify Premium excels when it comes to mood-based playlists. Do you want tunes to mourn a breakup? Or tunes to help you get psyched for a Friday night? Spotify Premium offers these and more besides. Humans and algorithms combine to determine the tracks that most likely fit listeners’ needs.
Amazon Music Unlimited also offers curated playlists, but they’re not as plentiful or brilliant as Spotify’s offerings. Spotify also adds a more personalized element, with Your Summer Rewind featuring your top summer season tunes, Discover Weekly serving up new songs you’ll probably like, and Your Time Capsule, full of songs guaranteed to make you feel young again.
Amazon Music Unlimited and Spotify Premium both allow users to create playlists too.
As far as overall music library sizes go, both services boast millions of tracks from every artists you can think of. If you have specific artists in mind you should consider starting free trials of both services to determine whether their music is available.
Setting Them Up
Amazon Music Unlimited was made with Amazon devices in mind. As a result, it boasts an automatically integrated service.
In contrast, using Spotify Premium on an Amazon Echo requires a short process to set it up. Specifically, open the Alexa app on your smartphone, go to the menu, tap Music, Video & Books, then Spotify, and then tap Link Account. That generates a login window. Then, just enter your Spotify account details to get started.
Going Beyond Your Echo
Although we’re specifically trying to help Echo owners figure out which music streaming service is best for them, you’ll probably also want to use Spotify or Amazon Music Unlimited on other devices.
Spotify makes this very simple, with Spotify Connect enabling Spotify users to listen to music through a secondary device such as a tablet, a TV, or an Echo device. There is also a Spotify smartphone app (Android and iOS) and the Spotify Web Player.
The Echo-specific Amazon Music Unlimited plan only allows you to listen to songs through your Echo device. However, just like Spotify, the standard Amazon Music Unlimited subscription has many more options. There’s an Amazon Music smartphone app (on Android and on iOS) and the Amazon Music web player.
Comparing Voice Commands
There are a number of Alexa voice commands related to Spotify. You can ask Alexa to play a desired genre, song, or artist. You can also ask her for the name of the song you’re currently listening to.
Alexa recognizes similar commands for Amazon Music Unlimited. One addition, though, is the ability to play the latest track from an artist. Additionally, if you use Amazon Music Unlimited, you have the ability to provide feedback about the kinds of music you like. Just say “Alexa, thumbs up” or “Alexa, thumbs down” to help the AI learn more about your preferences. Spotify Premium doesn’t allow you to do this with your Echo as of this writing.
Amazon Music Unlimited also lets you verbally add songs to your library. Use the command “Alexa, add this song” to do so. (If you want to add a song on Spotify Premium, you have to open the app instead.)
Furthermore, if you often have a hard time remembering song names, Alexa can help you figure out a song’s title. When using Amazon Music Unlimited, just say, “Alexa, play the song that goes [snippet of lyrics].” After repeating some of the lyrics you remember Alexa does the rest by pulling the track from the library. This isn’t possible with Spotify Premium.
And the Winner Is…
Taking everything into consideration, if you own an Echo device and are planning on using it primarily for listening to music, we recommend Amazon Music Unlimited.
Spotify Premium and Amazon Music Unlimited have similar pricing for their standard, student, and family plans. However, the latter service’s Echo-only plan is the obvious choice for budget-conscious people. And even if you pay out the extra for the full Amazon Music Unlimited service, its easy integration and extra voice commands just give it the edge. It’s close though.
Do you agree that Amazon Music Unlimited is the better choice for Echo owners? Or do you think Spotify actually has the edge? Do you agree with our reasoning? Or do you think we should have taken other factors into accounts? Please let us know in the comments below!