×

Samsung Announces Bixby Smart Speaker, Spotify Partnership

Samsung used its Unpacked event in New York Thursday to unveil its own smart speaker, dubbed Galaxy Home. The company also announced a new partnership with Spotify, promising to deeply integrate the music service into a range of Samsung devices including phones, TVs and the upcoming Galaxy Home speaker.

Samsung’s Galaxy Home speaker will be powered by Bixby, the company’s smart assistant. It will use eight microphones, which are supposed to be capable of optimizing far-field voice recognition even in large homes.

The speaker will be powered by audio technology from AKG, a subsidiary of the speaker maker Harman, which Samsung acquired last year. It features six tweeters for omnidirectional sound, as well as one woofer. The speaker also integrates a smart home hub capable of controlling devices compatible with Samsung’s Smartthings technology.

Form-wise, the speaker will differentiate itself from competing products like Apple’s Homepod with a round body that stands on three feet — think of it as a mini tripod for your speaker, if you will. The company didn’t announce a price point for the speaker yet, and instead promised updates for price and availability soon.

One of the music services available on the speaker will be Spotify, which is being deeply integrated into both the Bixby speaker as well as other Samsung devices. The company even invited Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on stage to announce this new partnership. “The partnership that we are announcing with Samsung today is a true cross-platform listening experience,” Ek said.

Part of the arrangement will allow what Samsung calls seamless continuity: Consumers will be able to start listening to an album or playlist on their phone, then continue to play the music to their TV when they get home, and finally press play on their smart speaker to keep playing the same music there.

Samsung’s partnership with Spotify is notable for a number of reasons. For Samsung, it’s the latest episode of a multi-year search for a distinct music strategy, which included the launch of its own Milk Music service — a service that was killed two years after its launch. Samsung also briefly flirted with acquiring Tidal, and more recently partnered with Google to use Google Play Music as its default music service.

For Spotify, the partnership is a clear attempt to fight off Apple Music, which is benefitting from its close iPhone integration.  Unsurprisingly, Ek boasted Thursday that the deal would give his company a vastly larger footprint. “We’re talking about hundreds of millions of devices,” he said.

 

More Digital

  • Amazon

    Amazon Blows Past Q1 Earnings Estimates With Record Profit of $3.6 Billion

    Amazon.com handily beat Wall Street estimates for profit for the first quarter of 2019 — reporting $3.6 billion net income, an all-time quarterly record for the ecommerce behemoth. Sales increased 17% to $59.7 billion in Q1, with net profit more than doubling in the first quarter to deliver earnings of $7.09 per diluted share. Analyst [...]

  • eOne Names Bill Wilson Senior VP

    eOne Names Bill Wilson Senior VP

    Entertainment One (“eOne”) has tapped Bill Wilson as Senior Vice President Digital Operations and Innovation, Music, the company announced today. Wilson will oversee all aspects of digital strategy across the company’s music business, including label service, talent management, music publishing and live entertainment, according to the announcement.  Wilson will be based in New York City and [...]

  • Jennifer Kaytin Robinson Someone Great

    'Someone Great' Director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson on Reimagining the Rom-Com

    Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, creator of the MTV series “Sweet/Vicious,” recently made her feature debut with “Someone Great,”  now streaming on Netflix. The film follows three friends as they navigate relationships and work in New York City.  Here, the writer-director opens up on reimagining the rom-com, and women changing the face of Hollywood. The three young [...]

  • Hulu-Logo

    Comcast Mulling Sale of Hulu Stake to Disney (Report)

    Comcast is holding talks with Disney to see if they can hammer out a deal to sell Comcast’s one-third stake in Hulu to the Mouse House — which would give Disney full control over Hulu, CNBC reported. The report comes a little over a week after AT&T sold its 9.5% stake in Hulu to the [...]

  • Cox Cable Testing a Form of

    Cox Cable Testing Gamer Network Service to Reduce Lag

    UPDATED: Cox Cable is testing a new “Elite Gamer Service” that is designed to speed up connections between gamers and games, but which the company says doesn’t prioritize internet use. The service began testing in Arizona this week and Cox tells Variety it plans to run the test for about three weeks. The $15 a [...]

  • Angie-Nwandu-The-Shade-Room

    The Shade Room, a Top Instagram Celebrity and Gossip Publisher, Unveils First Slate of Original Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Shade Room, a top Instagram-based media publisher focused on black culture, entertainment and celebrity gossip, is launching three new original series on the social platform. The five-year-old venture, the brainchild of entrepreneur Angelica Nwandu, runs one of the most highly engaged accounts on Instagram: @TheShadeRoom, which has 15.3 million followers (referred to as “Roommates”), [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content