Amazon Music Unveils Improved Alexa Suggestions for Music, Including Playlists

Amazon has just improved Alexa’s features for music fans, making it easier to discover new music and playlists.  Here’s the bad news – only Prime Music and Music Unlimited subscribers can use them.

Music has become a top priority over at Amazon.

So, over the past few months, the e-commerce giant has unveiled new features for its streaming music platforms.

In August, the company went on a major advertising blitz.  Ads prominently displayed in three key markets – the US, the UK, and Germany – featured music from top artists.  Amazon extended its music marketing campaign to billboards, online video, and radio.

Then, in September, Amazon Music Unlimited officially launched in Canada with an extended 90-day free trial.  This copied a strategy used by Spotify in South Africa.

Two months later, the company unveiled a new feature.  Capitalizing on the success of Alexa, Amazon introduced voice-enabled new release notifications.  Spotify and Apple Music have yet to unveil a similar feature.

Not content to stop there, Amazon also rolled out Prime Music and Music Unlimited on Xbox One consoles.

Most recently, the company has unveiled Amazon Music pre-registrations on Android TV.  In a few weeks, Apple Music will debut on Amazon Alexa smart speakers.  The Cupertino company already has its own struggling luxury smart speaker – the HomePod.

Now, Amazon has updated Alexa’s capabilities to better refine the music experience on smart speakers.

The growing power of smart speaker features, but only for the ‘right’ subscribers.

According to Adobe Insight, most consumers around the world (70%) use their smart speakers to play music.

64% ask for the local weather forecast.  53% enjoy asking ‘fun questions.’  47% use their smart speakers to perform online searches.

To personalize the streaming music experience for listeners, the e-commerce giant has added new Alexa-powered voice features.

The e-commerce giant explains,

Coming soon, customers will also be able to ask, “Alexa, recommend some new music” to further help with discovery or simply, “Alexa, what should I play?”  By using cues from your previous listening habits, and asking a few simple questions regarding your favorite genres, eras, and other preferences, Alexa will be able to anticipate what customers are in the mood to hear, and suggest relevant music, or new releases tailored to them.

In addition, when consumers say ‘Alexa, play music,’ they’ll receive a “more personalized response” based on their listening habits.

Unfortunately, the company has locked competitors and international users out, limiting access to US-based Prime Music and Music Unlimited subscribers only.  You can only access these features on Echo devices or the Amazon Music app on iOS and Android.


Featured image by Andres Uruna.