Tech companies are accelerating the convergence of digital music, smart speakers and voice assistants with a series of moves this week.
- Digital music service Spotify announced Wednesday that users of its free tier will now be able to hear their Spotify music and playlists on Amazon Alexa devices. The capability previously required a paid Spotify subscription. The capability will also be rolled out to Sonos speakers and Bose smart speakers, the company said.
- The announcement came after Amazon expanded the free, ad-supported version of Amazon Music to the iPhone, Android devices, and Fire TV. The Amazon Music app was previously only available on the Amazon Echo. Spotify shares are down more than 6 percent since Amazon’s announcement, based on the competitive implications.
- Connected speaker maker Sonos acquired Snips, a startup developing its own voice assistant technology, for $37.5 million. Sonos CEO Patrick Spence told Variety that the company plans to build a music-specific voice assistant, and doesn’t intend to compete with Alexa or Google Assistant, both of which can be used on Sonos speakers.