Apple Music support for Alexa and Echo speakers is here

Amazon Echo is finally playing nice

Apple Music is now supported by Alexa

Apple Music is now available for Alexa and Echo devices, arriving a couple days before the announced 17 December start date.

In the US, you can open up the Alexa app and search for the Apple Music skill, which will let you sync your Apple and Amazon accounts. You'll then be able to set Apple Music as your default music streaming and station choice, which means Alexa will default to Apple Music when you ask it to play any music.

Apple Music joins rivals Spotify, Google Play Music and even the retail giant's own Amazon Music. Unfortunately, Apple Music for Alexa is currently limited to just Echo devices, so you're not going to be able to use Alexa to play it on your Sonos One quite yet.

The support means that Apple Music subscribers will no longer have to connect to a speaker with Alexa built in over Bluetooth just to play their tunes, with the assistant soon able to hook up to a user's library without the help of a tethered device.

Like other music streaming services on Alexa, users will be able to stream music by simply asking the assistant to play their favorite songs, artists or albums, or one of the playlists curated by Apple Music editors. Naturally, you'll also be able to stream the Beats 1 radio stations, too.

Of course, this represents a significant step for both companies, considering the battle currently being waged in the smart speaker field. However, in reality, it's one that's mutually beneficial; Alexa devices have, with this move, become more attractive to millions of Apple Music subscribers overnight, and vice versa.

Does the decision tell us anything about Apple HomePod? Well, while it's somewhat of a surprise to see the two companies shake hands this early into the smart speaker's life, this really gives us more of a hint towards the ambitions of Apple Music. While the platform has performed strongly since launching in 2015, passing 50 million subscribers earlier this year, the number of paying subscribers on Spotify is still significantly higher, resting at 83 million, according to Statista.

Apple likely hopes that it will now appeal more strongly to the tens of millions of Echo users across the globe, but only time will tell if this is a partnership that came a little too late to have a true impact in the never-ending race to be the biggest streaming platform.


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