Amazon one-ups Apple with free music on iOS

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Start enjoying it today.
Photo: Amazon

Start blasting those holiday tunes with free Amazon Music on iOS.

The streaming service can now be enjoyed without a paid subscription for the first time on iPhone and iPad, giving it a big advantage over Apple Music.

But just like other free music plans, it does come with ads … and some restrictions.

Amazon has allowed fans to enjoy Music for free in the past — but only on its own Echo devices. Now you can enjoy the same experience on Android, Fire TV, and iOS, too.

It gives you access to thousands of stations and a selection of top playlists. And you can enjoy it in the U.S., the U.K., and Germany starting today, November 19.

But be warned: If you don’t cough up for premium access, your choices will be limited.

Amazon Music now free on iOS

One of the free playlists, “All Hits,” lets you stream some of today’s hottest tracks. And that will be enough for those who simply want to enjoy a few songs during their commute to and from work.

There are some genre-specific stations, too, like “Country Heat” and “Rap Rotation.” And you’ll find a “Holiday Favorites” station that should help you get into the festive spirit in the coming weeks.

Thousands of other stations are available, too, so if you have no interest in paying, you should be good. But don’t think about playing specific songs.

You can’t pick and choose individual tracks without a paid subscription. Amazon Music will instead start a station based on your chosen song, then prompt you to upgrade to its Unlimited plan.

Watch out for the ads

Free access means you will also have to listen to ads that cannot be skipped in between songs. This is something you’ll be familiar with if you’ve ever used Spotify’s free plan.

Despite its downsides, Amazon Music’s free plan gives it a big advantage over Apple Music, which must be paid for. Apple offers a free trial for new users, but then there is no ad-supported option.

Amazon Music Unlimited is priced at $7.99 a month for Prime members, or $9.99 a month for everyone else. And it unlocks Amazon’s entire catalog of more than 50 million songs.

It also removes ads completely, and if you’re a new user, you’ll get the first four months for just $0.99.