The battle of the virtual voice assistant rages on, and now Amazon’s Alexa has a new trick up her sleeve. If you don’t know, the Amazon Echo is a wireless speaker that allows you to interact with it via a voice interface that’s named Alexa. Calling out to her lets you do a number of things and now playing music from Spotify is added to that list. It connects to your home Wi-Fi so you can also control other things like Phillips Hue lights that are connected to the same network.
You can talk to it and ask it about traffic, hear what’s on your calendar, set alarms, and everything else that comes along with virtual assistants. As a speaker it has a 2.5” woofer and 2.0” tweeter so it might not make your house shake, but it should get the job done in terms of personal audio. That’s all secondary though, as its main hardware feature has to be the 7 built-in microphones. They can pick up your voice asking it something from across the room even while playing music, and then gets you the right answer quickly.
In the same way that voice assistants are battling for top dog, music streaming services have been at it for years.
Spotify is no stranger to making deals with other large companies. This can be seen in the deal they made with Starbucks in May of last year that made them part of the everyday lives of anyone ordering a morning pike. Every move it makes is an attempt to become a part of the everyday lives of it’s customers and now if you have an Echo, you can walk into your home and continue listening to your music via Spotify.
Granted you need to have an Echo and a premium subscription to take part in this new feature, but if you do it’s a very handy trick. Being everywhere and on everything is something that Spotify has excelled at in ways that it’s competitors have not yet figured out. Services like Tidal have a fairly expensive subscription fee that acts as a large garden wall, keeping out anyone who doesn’t put too much importance on high quality streaming. Apple Music also has its flaws and there is no free option in the way that Spotify has. Google also has a good music streaming option in YouTube Music and Google Play Music, but they’re also not everywhere the way Spotify is.
In a world where 99% of songs are on all the streaming services (like The Beatles), one way to get ahead of the competition is just to be everywhere and that’s something Spotify seems to have figured out.