Amazon Prime Music's latest batch of exclusive music is Indie for the Holidays, a 27-song collection of Christmas originals and covers that Prime members can stream for free in eligible countries. If you don't have a Prime subscription or live in the US, UK, Germany, Austria, or Japan but you love festive tunes, you can still purchase the tracks on a song-by-song basis from Amazon's music store. This is the second straight year the company's released a collection of exclusive Christmas music. Last year's All Is Bright was almost double the length of Indie for the Holidays, and it featured artists like Liz Phair, Yoko One, and Ashley Monroe. The company also released an acoustic compilation called Amazon Acoustics back in July.
Amazon Prime Music doesn't have the catalog or functionality to compete with Apple Music or Spotify, and that's just fine with Amazon. The company's music streaming service is like the cherry on top of Amazon Prime's giant, colorful service sundae. Prime Music's exclusive collections revolve around specific themes and holidays because they're bonuses for subscribers and advertisements for the larger service, not competitive maneuvers.
Bands come and go, but holiday music endures
There's something about Christmas music that makes it a perfect fit for this particular strategy. Done right, it's unobjectionable on both aesthetic and thematic grounds; your interest in Christmas may be purely secular, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy cheery music about hanging out with your family and receiving gifts. Bands may come and go, but Christmas music endures — it'll be popular for two to four weeks each year, no matter what else is happening across the music industry. When there are 45 streaming services competing for subscriptions, and CDs are all but distant memories, people will still be looking for ways to hear "Last Christmas" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." There isn't a more resilient novelty genre.
"We always want to deliver something special to our customers," writes Amazon digital music VP Steve Boom in a statement. "Indie for the Holidays is the next great way we're connecting customers with not only new, original holiday music, but with amazing artists and bands that they may not have discovered yet."
Here's the full Indie for the Holidays track list in alphabetical order:
A Silent Film, "Christmas at Our House"
Amason, "O Little Town of Bethlehem" (cover)
Anna von Hausswolff, "Birthday Boy" (cover)
ARCHIS, "Winter Time"
Avid Dancer, "Jingle Bells" (cover)
Bhi Bhiman, "Who's Up There?"
Born Cages, "Ave Maria"
Esmé Patterson, "If I"
Family of the Year, "NYE"
Fruit Bats, "Christmas with You"
Ivan & Alyosha, "Being Home for Christmas"
James Apollo, "Go Trim Another Tree"
Kill Hannah, "This Is Our December"
Langhorne Slim, "Deck the Halls (With Boughs of Holly)" (cover)
Lisa Loeb, "Champagne (I'm Ready)"
Moon Taxi, "It's Only Christmas"
Oscar, "It's Christmas Again"
Reverend Horton Heat, "Donuts in the Snow"
Robert Pollard, "What Begins on New Year's Day"
Rogue Wave, "Christmastime"
SOAK, "The Christmas Waltz" (cover)
Sondre Lerche & Jherek Bischoff, "Surviving Christmas"
The LeeVees & Matisyahu, "Outside of December"
Turin Brakes, "New Year's Day"
Tuxedo, "Holiday Love"
Wild Child, "Silent Night" (cover)
YACHT, "Christmas Alone"