Apple and Amazon sure seem to be getting cozy with one another these days. Earlier this month, Amazon started allowing sales of iPhones, iPads, and other Apple products directly and via authorized sellers in the Amazon Marketplace, ending a long-standing feud between the two. In true 'scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' fashion, Apple now plans to bring its streaming music service to Amazon's Echo smart speakers.
It's a logical match, given the popularity of Apple Music and Amazon's line of Alexa-enabled Echo products. Despite what should have always been a logical pairing, Apple and Amazon had not worked together previously to make the collaboration happen—sure, a user could always pair their mobile device to an Echo speaker via Bluetooth and stream Apple Music that way, but that bypassed using Alexa.
That's going to change, and soon. Starting the week of December 17, Apple Music and Amazon Echo devices will play nice with each other. Apple Music subscribers who own an Echo smart speaker will be able to summon Alexa to navigate playlists, play specific tracks, and so forth.
"Given the size and scope of Apple Music, it's been one of the most asked for features for the past three or four years since we've had Echo and Alexa out there, Dave Lim, Amazon senior vice president for devices and services, told USA Today.
Apple's engineers have been working to fully support Echo and Alexa for about the past six months. The question is, once it arrives, what impact will it have on the streaming music space? We won't know until later on down the line, but make no mistake, this is a huge win for Apple as it takes on the likes of Spotify.
For Amazon, adding Apple Music support is yet another value proposition for its Echo speakers and Alexa digital assistant. Pricing for the service will be the same—new uses can sign up for a free month, followed by $9.99 per month for an individual or $4.99 for a student. There's also a $14.99 per month family plan for up to six users.