×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amazon Music Focusing on Alexa, Echo to Stand Out Amid Streaming Competition

Amazon Music faces a crowded competitive field, but it’s looking to lean into its parent company’s voice-controlled devices to differentiate itself.

That was the message from Alex Luke, global head of programming and content strategy at the streaming service, in his keynote Q&A at Variety’s Entertainment & Technology Summit on Thursday.

While competitors from Spotify and Pandora may have focused on heavily visual interfaces on the smartphones where its user bases grew, Amazon is learning fast how devices Alexa and Echo are dictating an entirely different style of audience usage that Luke hailed “as the beginning of a new chapter in streaming music.”

“This focus on voice is where we have all our energy and resources planted,” Luke told Janko Roettgers, senior Silicon Valley correspondent at Variety. “We see the interest from our customers in Alexa and Echo as a combined offering with music.”

Machine learning is helping Amazon glean lessons in this new mode of subscriber behavior, from the more communal-style of listening multiple people engage in to the way some users might ask for a song with just a fragment of lyrics, as opposed to its official title. Last month, Amazon began enabling users to verbally access playlists driven by specific activities from cooking to running.

“We try to contemplate every way a consumer might ask Alexa or Echo for music,” said Luke. “Voice is a huge inflection for music.”

The challenge is compounded in the case of Amazon’s Echo Show, which marries the Echo’s voice capabilities with a screen. That multi-modal experience brings a different set of user behaviors, so much so that Luke said that Amazon is building separate playlist capabilities for voice and visual presentations.  In-vehicle listening is also an area where voice-driven music has a big growth opportunity, he added.

 

More Digital

  • Netflix iPhone mobile app

    Netflix Tries Out Mobile-Only Subscription Plan in India

    Streaming giant Netflix is testing a mobile-only subscription in India that costs half of its basic plan. Netflix India’s monthly plans begin at INR500 ($7.27). The mobile only plan is being trialled at INR250 ($3.63) per month. “We are always looking for ways to make Netflix more enjoyable and accessible,” a Netflix spokesperson told Variety. [...]

  • How Netflix Uses Technology: A Look

    How Netflix Wants to Take on Its Competition in 2019 and Beyond

    “They’re going to do some great shows. I’m going to be envious.” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings practiced humility when he was asked about new competitors like Disney’s and Apple’s upcoming streaming services this week. “These are amazing, large, well-funded companies with very significant efforts,” he said. “But you do your best job when you have [...]

  • AVOD streaming video OTT users -

    Comcast Unveils 'Flex,' a Streaming Service for Internet Customers

    Comcast said it would unveil “Flex,” a hub for its Internet-only customers that allows them to stream and purchase shows and movies, the latest effort by a traditional cable provider to latch on to customers who are migrating to broadband services, The Philadelphia cable giant will also make free, ad-supported services available via the service, [...]

  • splice

    Splice Raises $57.5 Million in Latest Funding Round

    Splice, a favorite of music creators that allows access to a library of three million rights-cleared sounds, announced today that the company closed a Series C funding round at $57.5 million. That brings Splice’s total amount raised to roughly $102 million since its launch in 2013. It raised a Series B in November of 2017. [...]

  • Facebook's 'Red Table Talk' Garners Daytime

    Facebook's 'Red Table Talk' Garners Daytime Emmy Nomination

    Facebook is now in the awards hunt: Its popular original series “Red Table Talk” hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith was nominated for a 2019 Daytime Emmy. It appears to be the first-ever Daytime Emmy Awards nomination for a Facebook-funded show, although a company rep was unable to confirm that. “Red Table Talk” is nominated in [...]

  • MLB-TV

    MLB.TV Joins Lineup on Amazon's Prime Video Channels

    Amazon has launched MLB.TV on Prime Video Channels for Prime members in the U.S., just in time for the start of Major League Baseball’s 2019 regular season start next week. The MLB.TV package provides regular-season out-of-market baseball games, both live and on-demand. Prime members in the U.S. can subscribe to MLB.TV for $24.99 per month, [...]

  • Tencent Music Shares Drop Despite Solid

    Tencent Music Shares Drop Despite Solid First Earnings Report

    Proving that good is not always good enough, Tencent Music Entertainment shares fell 9 percent after the Chinese company released its 2018 earnings, wiping out $2.7 billion in market capitalization of what is arguably the biggest audio music service in the world. Chalk it up to big expectations and a short track record: Wednesday’s earnings [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content