“Alexa, take on Spotify and Apple Music.”
That’s not something you’d likely bark into your Amazon Echo speaker, of course. But Amazon on Wednesday launched Amazon Music Unlimited, an on-demand, aggressively-priced streaming service powered by the Alexa voice familiar to Echo owners. It’s one that’s primed to muscle in on an already congested streaming market for music.
It also shows off Alexa’s artificial intelligence smarts, such as the ability to find a song with limited information, a feat Google’s Assistant showed off last week.
Amazon Music Unlimited debuts with a catalog of “tens of millions” of songs—Amazon won’t reveal a precise number—as well as curated playlists and personalized stations. That promises to makes it more of a viable competitor against Apple Music, Spotify and any number of other streaming services than the company’s existing Amazon Prime Music service, which has a far more limited catalog of some two million songs and will remain available at no extra cost to Amazon Prime members. All too often when you request a song on Echo, Prime Music only plays a sample.
In addressing the competition, Amazon Music vice president Steve Boom says, “We’ve earned our seat at the table. We’re one of the biggest music services in the world, period.”
As it happens, the leading player, Spotify, will still be available to subscribers on Echo. Same goes for Pandora.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Edward C. Baig