Amazon has announced that Apple’s music streaming service, Apple Music, will be available on Echo devices before Christmas. The walls built by each smart speaker operating system could be taken down slowly.
Listening music has been found to be the main function that smart speaker owners use their devices for. A study conducted by Kantar Media in July found 64% of smart speaker owners use it for music, while another study in August by Adobe Analytics said the figure to be 70%.
Major streaming services, such as Spotify and Pandora, have been launched on multiple speakers. Smart speaker makers, on the other hand, have kept their music services exclusively for their devices. For instance, Amazon Music is only available on Echo devices but not on Google Home speakers, and Google Play is accessible on Google Home rather than on Echo or HomePod.
The Apple Music announcement could change the scene in the future, making services available across different smart speaker platforms, like the way it functions among smartphones. For instance, Apple Music are Google Maps apps are available on both iOS and Android devices, and voice services owned by one speaker maker may also be launched on its competitors’ platforms. After all, services will generate more profits when more people are using them.
The development is a big step for Apple, which has mentioned Apple Music as the highlight of its HomePod speaker. “One of the things we’ve always believed with music – and this goes back to the iTunes days – is to try to make the music services as widely available as possible,” said Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services at Apple, in an interview with USA Today.
Apple Music has about 50 million paid subscribers on its platform, while Spotify has 83 million paid subscribers and a total of 180 million users. Apple claimed to have more subscribers in the U.S. than Spotify, although there is still a big gap in terms of global subscribers between the two companies. Nevertheless, bringing Apple Music to Echo devices will help Apple push its music service more broadly to global users.
In regards to whether Apple Music will be launched on Google Home speakers, the company did not provide further details.