The streaming music service will be available to Apple Music subscribers, starting the week of Dec. 17. Customers will be able to ask Alexa to play any track from Apple’s catalog of 50 million songs — or any of the playlists made by Apple Music’s editors from around the world, covering many activities and moods.
“Music is one of the most popular features on Alexa – since we launched Alexa four years ago, customers are listening to more music in their homes than ever before,” said Dave Limp, senior vice president, Amazon Devices.
Given this popularity, Limp said Amazon decided to expand the music selection available on Alexa to more top tier services.
Apple’s senior vice president for Internet software and services, Eddy Cue, told USA Today that its engineers have been at it for about six months.
The move – a bit of a surprise, since the Cupertino device-maker sells its own smart speaker, the HomePod – positions Apple to better compete with rival Spotify, whose premium service is available through Echo. Apple has about 50 million subscribers, compared with Spotify’s 83 million.