Apple, Amazon bring Apple Music to Echo devices

Echo Dot

Echo Dot

In an admittedly shocking announcement today, Amazon has confirmed Apple is bringing support for its Apple Music streaming service to Echo devices.

While Apple Music has always been available on Android in addition to iOS and macOS (and on Sonos speakers in addition to HomePod), the upcoming Amazon Echo integration marks a major shift as Apple Music has never been able to integrate with competing smart speakers through third-party voice assistants.

While there's no special Echo rate-the service will still cost $10 a month or $99 a year, with the same student and family tiers-support for Amazon devices opens Apple Music up to a huge untapped audience.

And just like how music support now works through Alexa, users will be able to stream music by simply asking the assistant to play their favorite songs, artists or albums, or one of the playlists curated by Apple Music editors.

All Echo hardware comes with a speaker system that is capable of streaming audio from the likes of Spotify and Amazon Music. One notable exclusion as the HomePod. Mr Cook has said that by 2020 he wants revenues generated from its online services, including Apple Music, the App Store, and Apple Pay, to hit $50bn - a doubling of 2016 levels.

Still, we've seen a cooling of any antagonism between the two companies in recent weeks. Just say, for instance, "Alexa, play Baby Shark on Apple Music".

Apple is likely making this move to better compete with rival Spotify.

But it certainly hasn't sold as well as Amazon's Echo or Google's Home smartspeaker. Amazon reversed course in the end. They could not control the playback using voice command and had to control the music from their handheld devices. Apple apparently cares more about selling more Apple Music subscriptions than HomePods, whose sales have struggled because of its high price, limited features, and middling reviews. Since then, it has added new features like the ability to summon an iPhone's location and make calls.

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