At the moment, Amazon Music introduced a brand new function known as DJ Mode, which it’s hyping as a hybrid of streaming and DJ-hosted radio. Primarily, DJ Mode stations are hosted by artists, DJs, and different music business figures. Hosts present tales behind specific tracks, talk about the music scene of a selected style, or just attempt to entertain you as you pay attention.
The primary DJ-hosted stations to go dwell are three of the app’s hottest — Rap Rotation (hosted by hip-hop persona DJ Letty), Nation Warmth (hosted by Nashville radio persona Kelly Sutton), and All Hits (hosted by Seattle radio host DJ Karen Wild).
As of now, the one artist-hosted station is the Billie Eilish Takeover station, on which the pop star shares among the inspirations, influences, and tales behind her hottest tracks. Artists similar to The Weeknd and Bruno Mars will chime in on different stations as properly, discussing their course of and sharing insights into their music, however on a extra restricted foundation.
We took this function for a spin, and though the concept is intriguing, it’s half-baked in a few alternative ways. First, let’s talk about the rollout and UI integration.
Amazon says you may entry these stations utilizing Alexa (e.g., “Alexa, play Rap Rotation in DJ Mode”), the all-new Automobile Mode, or the Amazon Music app for iOS, Android, and Fireplace TV. That sounds nice. The issue is, at this juncture, you’re not prone to discover these stations until you already know what you’re searching for.
For example, whereas the Billie Eilish Takeover station is promoted on the app’s homepage, nowhere is it talked about that this station is a part of the brand new DJ Mode, neither is there any clarification of what DJ Mode is. To high it off, there’s no devoted tab that you should utilize to entry the out there DJ Mode stations.
For now, you’ll want to make use of the Discover tab to seek for them by identify or the Stations filter to scroll by means of the out there radio choices. However even that is trickier than it ought to be. For example, in the event you search “Rap Rotation,” within the Android app, the Prime Outcomes tab will show the Rap Rotation playlist, the Rap Rotation video playlist, and the usual Rap Rotation station — however you’ll must scroll down to seek out Rap Rotation in DJ Mode. Looking “Rap Rotation DJ Mode” will get you the place it’s good to be, however once more, not in the event you don’t already know what you’re searching for.
The second downside with this function is that — as of proper now — it’s barely a function in any respect. Let’s use the Rap Rotation station for example. We listened to this station for about an hour and barely heard from our host, DJ Letty. Each few tracks she would chime in with a really fast reduce, providing a tiny morsel of context concerning the music forward, after which it was again to enterprise as common. The Billie Eilish takeover was a bit extra fascinating, with some (barely) longer cuts and extra substantial tales between tracks, however as soon as once more we discovered ourselves forgetting concerning the presence of our host.
In sum, Amazon could also be on to one thing right here, but it surely must decide to this function if it’s going to put it on the market as a differentiator within the aggressive music streaming panorama. For now, we’re extra enthusiastic about its determination to improve all of its Amazon Limitless subscribers to Amazon Music HD, however we have an interest to see how DJ Mode develops within the weeks and months forward.
DJ Mode is accessible at this time for U.S.-based customers with an Amazon Music Limitless or Amazon Music HD subscription.