Prime Music, a subscription listening service for Amazon Prime customers, launched this summer. This week we noticed an intriguing and festive new feature: Amazon has released an original album of Christmas music as a free streaming playlist for Prime Music members. Interestingly, the songs are also available to any Amazon customers, Prime or not, as paid MP3 downloads.
Original media content produced by Amazon has been in the purview of Prime Video until now. The Christmas album, which is a compilation of new recordings by many artists of holiday classics and not-so-classics, is titled All Is Bright.
The hybrid product is an interesting concept. Prime Music is part of Amazon’s bundled Prime membership, which has other benefits besides the streaming (e.g. the video service, and free shipping from the Amazon store). Prime is a paid-only service. The idea of having unlimited streaming as the primary product, with a secondary pay-as-you-go option for individual tracks is unique to Prime Music. (Digitally Imported is planning something similar.) Many artists were solicited to contribute original recordings to the holiday playlist, and this hybrid product might generate royalty revenue above and beyond the subscription streaming in Prime Music.