Amazon Music's 'DJ Mode' recreates the old school radio vibe

With a dash of 'Pop-Up Video' thrown in.

Amazon Music

Amazon might have a solution if the non-stop music of streaming services sounds a little too clinical next to the dynamic vibe of radio. The company has introduced a "DJ Mode" to Amazon Music that intersperses stations with commentary and insights from DJs, artists, "tastemakers," and even Pop-Up Video-style music trivia from Alexa. The Rap Rotation playlist will include occasional drop-ins from DJ Letty and rap stars, for example, while a Billie Eilish Takeover experience melds her curated songs with stories about her music and favorite tracks.

You can use DJ Mode with either an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription or a limited Prime account in the US, and you can invoke it with Alexa by asking the voice assistant to play a supporting station "in DJ Mode." Only four playlists (Rap Rotation, Country Heat, All Hits and Billie Eilish Takeover) support it so far, but more are coming.

This is arguably a counter to Apple Music's radio stations, which serve as a DJ-curated complement to the on-demand service. In both cases, they're encouraging you to discover and take an interest in music where a plain playlist might not be engaging. Amazon is taking a different approach, though. Apple's radio is more traditional, with live elements and lots of hosted (if often canned) segments. Amazon, meanwhile, is treating DJ Mode more as a supplement that adds radio-like qualities to the content that already exists.