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Amazon Goes After Apple Music Market

As Netflix looks to strip revenue from Apple in the App store Amazon is turning up the volume with a plan to strip Apple Music customers away from the trillion-dollar Company.

The world’s largest online retailer is now mounting a major marketing campaign for its music-streaming service, featuring ads with songs from Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar and Queen.

At this stage it’s not known when the expanded service or the new marketing campaign will come to Australia with three markets currently targeted for testing, they include the U.S., U.K. and Germany.

The move comes because of the popularity of the company’s Echo speakers and the virtual assistant Alexa. Music is one of the most common requests of Alexa, and listening hours have doubled over the past year, the company said.

Currently Amazon Echo owners in Australia get a 14 days free trial of Amazon Music with their Echo purchase. To activate the offer all you have to do is say ‘Okay Alexa play Jazz from Amazon Music’.

According to Bloomberg the music service has helped Amazon differentiate Echo and Alexa from the competition, Steve Boom, the head of Amazon Music, said in an interview. Selling smart speakers is the latest battleground between technology giants Apple, Amazon and Google, all of which operate music services.

“We’re pouring fuel on the fire,” Boom said in an interview. “We have established ourselves as the leader in music services where voice is all you need to control it.”

Amazon Music comes as part of a package that includes membership to Amazon Prime and offers a library of 2 million songs with limited new releases. Amazon Music Unlimited has tens of millions of songs and charges a monthly fee.

Amazon has introduced its music service in more than 35 countries including Australia over the past year and hired a team of former industry executives and tastemakers to program playlists, secure exclusive albums and create new daily features like the “Song of the Day.’’

The company says it’s targeting a different consumer than Apple or Spotify as the average Amazon shopper is a little older and less focused on hip-hop and R&B.

Amazon users are just as likely to crave jazz, country or music for their kids. The California rock duo Best Coast recorded a kids’ album solely for Amazon, while August Greene, a trio including jazz pianist Robert Glasper, released an album exclusively on the service.

Amazon says it will stand apart because its service is tailored for people listening on a speaker rather than on earbuds.

Users can just ask Alexa to add a song to a playlist or request a song they haven’t heard for a while. Major record labels are letting Amazon offer a lower-priced, speaker-only version of the service at $3.99 a month. Competitors are $9.99.

“We’ve been talked about frequently as one of the future giants of music streaming,” Boom said. “Those days are now behind us. You can refer to us in the present tense.”

 

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