On the heels of its deal with Apple to make iPhones and iPads available for sale on Amazon, the online juggernaut has announced it will make the Apple Music service available across the range of Echo audio devices. Beginning on December 17, paid subscribers to Apple Music will be able to issue Alexa voice commands to stream any of the over 50 millions songs on the service to their Echo speakers. This will also carry over to all third-party Amazon Alexa and Echo-compatible speakers and devices
“Music is one of the most popular features on Alexa—since we launched Alexa four years ago, customers are listening to more music in their homes than ever before,” said Dave Limp, senior vice president, Amazon Devices.
“We are committed to offering great music providers to our customers and since launching the Music Skill API to developers just last month, we’ve expanded the music selection on Alexa to include even more top tier services,” added Limp. “We’re thrilled to bring Apple Music—one of the most popular music services in the US—to Echo customers this holiday.”
Making the Amazon Alexa Ecosystem a Player in Music
This move will also serve to make the Amazon Alexa ecosystem more appealing to consumers seeking to play their Apple Music playlists and selections in higher-fidelity, multi-room scenarios—a domain where the Sonos system already has a strong foothold. Apple Music has been available on Sonos since December 2015, a three-year head start over Amazon.
Furthermore, when viewed from a perspective that includes Amazon’s recent launch of the Echo Sub, Echo Link, and Echo Link Amp, Apple Music will certainly add more legitimacy to the expanding line of Amazon audio devices that seek to bring higher fidelity than basic Echo speakers. The latest Echo Plus and Echo Dot speakers also sport higher audio quality, while the new Echo Input puck lets homeowners connect non-smart speakers to the Amazon Alexa ecosystem.
Apple Music Subscription a Prerequisite
While Amazon will not charge a fee for adding the Apple Music skill to the Alexa ecosystem, users will first need to subscribe to Apple Music through Apple. Monthly costs are $4.99 for college students, $9.99 for individuals, and $14.99 for families. Apple offers a 30-day free trial for the service, which could be used to try out the Amazon Echo integration. Users can subscribe directly from the Apple Music app on their iOS device or a web browser.
Tom Kolnowski is the Chief Content Officer & Founder of Digitized House Media, LLC, the publisher of Digitized House | Guide to the Connected Home. When he isn’t writing about smart home technology, sustainability, and high-performance architecture, you’ll find him exploring faraway destinations with his family.