Apple Music coming to the most popular smart speaker

Apple (AAPL) has struck a deal to make its Apple Music service available on Amazon’s (AMZN) Echo smart speakers. Apple Music is expected to arrive on the Echo device on December 17.

This partnership is notable for several reasons. Firstly, it shows increasing collaboration between Apple and Amazon despite the two competing in many areas. Secondly, the arrival of Apple Music on Echo devices is set to extend the reach of the service given that Echo devices are the most widely used smart speakers in the United States. According to Strategy Analytics, Amazon’s Echo devices held a 63% share of the smart speaker market in the United States at the end of the third quarter compared to 17% for Google and 4.0% for Apple.


Countering Spotify’s smart speaker move

Thirdly, bringing Apple Music to Echo sees Apple countering its online music rivals Spotify (SPOT) and Pandora (P), which recently scored smart speaker music deals with Facebook (FB) for its Portal device. Spotify exited the third quarter with 87 million paying music subscribers, while Pandora closed the quarter with 6.8 million paying music subscribers. Apple doesn’t update its music subscriber metrics regularly, but its CEO, Tim Cook, revealed in May that Apple Music had attracted more than 40 million paying subscribers.

Partnering to popularize Apple Music

Apple has taken to partnering to extend Apple Music’s reach in its fight to catch up with Spotify in terms of its paying subscriber numbers. Earlier this year, it partnered with Verizon (VZ) on a program that allows the carrier’s unlimited wireless customers to access Apple Music free of charge for up to six months. Verizon serves more than 150 million wireless customers in the United States.

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Anthony S Casey Singapore