Apple Music is Coming to Alexa Smart Devices

Posted on November 30, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Music + Videos, Smart Home with 29 Comments announced this morning that Apple Music is coming to the Echo and other Alexa-powered smart devices, starting December 17.

“Music is one of the most popular features on Alexa,” Amazon senior vice president Dave Limp notes in a prepared statement. “Since we launched Alexa four years ago, customers are listening to more music in their homes than ever before.” paved the way for this change via improvements to both its Alexa technologies and its relationship with Apple.

On the technology front, Amazon opened up Alexa to more third-party music services when it released its Music Skill API last month. This skill enables services to use a wide range of Alexa capabilities across different smart device types, including multi-room audio, visual search on Echo Show and Spot, using music for alarms, and more.

More recently, Amazon took a major step in its often-contentious relationships with competitors when it reached a deal with Apple to sell the consumer electronics giant’s products via its online store. That said, Amazon doesn’t sell Apple’s HomePod smart speaker, which competes directly with Echo.

This is a mutually beneficial agreement, for sure: Amazon’s own music subscription service isn’t particularly successful since Echo owners get a subset of the service for free. And Apple’s HomePod has sold poorly as well, leading to questions about its future. Getting Apple Music on one of the most successful smart speaker platforms is a good hedge against that possibility.


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Comments (29)

29 responses to “Apple Music is Coming to Alexa Smart Devices”

  1. maethorechannen

    I wonder if we'll see a Siri skill at some point.

  2. last bench guy

    I think Alexa and Apple its gone a be other level

  3. johnross1563

    You Can easily use saavn Pro in order to play music via alexa in apple devices

  4. DaveHelps

    Will that include Xbox One?

  5. Patrick3D

    Makes me wonder if it will be able to stream Beats 1 for free, it's already free for anyone via iTunes. Although 99% of the music played on Beats 1 is complete garbage, the "celebrity" hosts they have on play their own personalized music lists that tend to include far more diverse and interesting music. Having live music hosts is the one thing that other music services are missing that Apple has done.

  6. mattbg

    I still feel like it'd be a miracle if we saw Chromecast support in Apple Music on iOS devices.

    I'm quite attached to the Apple ecosystem but I can't easily give up the relative flexibility of Spotify which on iOS integrates with AirPlay, Chromecast, and even my aging Squeezebox infrastructure (via community plugin).

  7. provision l-3

    It's funny, I saw this news elsewhere and literally thought "I wonder how Paul is going to spin this as bad news about another Apple product." and I was not let down. Apparently this is about about Home Pod sales. Since Apple Music has always been a multi platformed service so I'm guessing that the availability of the service on Android and Windows are actually about iPhone and Mac sales cratering? I mean it certainly can't be that Apple has said that services is its next big area for growth, Apple Music is a service and expanding it's availability helps grow the service and works toward their stated strategy. That would just crazy.

  8. glenn8878

    I wish all streaming music is free. The playlists of Amazon Prime and free Pandora are limiting. I refuse to subscribe to yet another subscription service that I barely use.

  9. jprestig

    This is great news. I just dove into the Echo world and thought I'd have to convince the family to move to Amazon Music from Apple Music. It would have been no easy feat since everyone loves Apple Music.

    Also, it would be great if Apple Music comes to Fire tablets now too. But I'll keep dreaming about that one.

  10. Corbey

    So i wonder if I’ll be able to ask Alexa to play Apple Music on a Sonos device? You would think so, since Sonos already supports Apple Music.

  11. BigM72

    This is great news. I'm an Apple Music subscriber. I was going to buy a homepod because of this but now I can buy a much cheaper and more useful Echo.

    • thalter

      In reply to BigM72:

      Came here to say exactly this, but you beat me to it!

      I'm glad that Apple has maintained a relative truce with both Amazon and Google, as consumers benefit when everyone cooperates. The pointless war between Amazon and Google only harms users of those respective platforms

  12. shonty

    I agree but this is a good speaker though.