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Amazon Prime Music Just Set Streaming Music's Price

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PORTLAND, Ore. ( TheStreet) -- For much of the last year, companies have been scrambling to create their own Pandora and take a piece of the growing -- but poorly monetized -- music streaming market. Amazon  may have just stumbled upon the solution.

In a message to Amazon Prime members in mid-June, Amazon unveiled Prime Music , a collection of more than a million songs and hundreds of playlists available to Prime members through the Amazon Music app. The service is accessible through Amazon's Kindle Fire and Fire TV products, Android and Apple iOS devices, Samsung Smart TVs and speakers and just about any Mac or PC.

It streams playlists and it allows Prime users free cloud access to whole albums including Daft Punk's Random Access Memories , John Legend's Love In The Future and Prince's Purple Rain. It also does all of it commercial free, much like Pandora's premium Pandora One service.

So what separates Prime Music from Pandora One or Apple's iTunes radio and its recently purchased Beats Music ? Prime customers are already paying for it, bundled with a bunch of other services including two-day shipping of Amazon marketplace products and Prime video streaming of movies and television shows -- including the HBO back catalog of The Sopranos , Six Feet Under , Boardwalk Empire and more.

Amazon, Apple and even wireless providers like Sprint  and AT&T  have been taking their cues from Comcast , Verizon , Cumulus ClearChannel  and others by building their media ecosystems to keep as many consumers in house as possible. As Comcast and others make bandwidth deals with Netflix , Verizon keeps building its RedboxInstant catalog and AT&T basically swallows DirecTV , streaming music and the independent providers behind it have been the next logical targets.

Apple attempted to work around them with with iTunes Radio -- and its failing attempt to use streaming to sell music downloads -- but it discovered the streaming audience doesn't care about buying music. Only about 2% of iTunes Radio listeners ever hit the "buy" button to download a song. Apple's purchase of Beats Music seemed to be more about headphone hardware than streaming, but Apple picked up a streaming service that may be small -- with user numbers struggling to reach the 1 million mark even after a partnership with 110-million user service provider AT&T --but has the respect of music mainstays like Dr. Dre and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor. It's a better platform that Apple just needs to squeeze money from.

That's been the dream of just about every company that's sidled up to streaming services within the last year. Sprint paired with Spotify earlier this year in an attempt to not only lure music fans, but to get them to shell out for more data. Cumulus partnered with Rdio not just to give the streaming service more content, but to give its family of radio stations a broader audience.