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Amazon's exclusive acoustic collection features Deer Tick, Surfer Blood, and more

It's an eclectic mix of covers and originals

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Partisan Records

Amazon Prime Music is a small but important piece of Amazon Prime's portfolio, and the company is working to render it more vital through exclusive content. Amazon Acoustics is an exclusive new collection of originals and covers available for streaming by Prime subscribers and for purchase by customers worldwide. It's an eclectic mix of artists and cover subjects, albeit one that naturally leans toward rock, country, and adult contemporary pop: Ashley Monroe is covering John Mellencamp, Michelle Branch is covering Radiohead, Surfer Blood is covering OutKast. The compilation also counts original compositions by artists like Deer Tick and Ron Sexsmith among its 32 tracks.

This isn't Prime Music's first batch of exclusive content. All Is Bright, a Christmas-themed compilation of covers and originals, was released last November using the same distribution strategy and a similarly broad group of artists. Amazon's push for musical exclusivity also mirrors the work it's done on Prime Instant Video, the company's video streaming service, which has been rendered a must-have for TV diehards thanks to exclusive programming like Transparent. Amazon Acoustics isn't a true exclusive because it's available for purchase outside of a Prime subscription, but you still have to deal with Amazon in some capacity to hear the music.

Prime Music isn't ready for competition like Spotify and Apple Music

With that said, Prime Music still isn't poised to take on juggernauts like Apple Music and Spotify — its library and user base are too small, and there's no stand-alone service. If the company wants to turn their music service into more than a throw-in for pre-existing Prime subscribers, it'll have to offer more than exclusive, theme-oriented compilations.