In a surprising move, Apple Music will soon join Amazon‘s Alexa-powered Echo devices. The partnership is noticeably out of character for Apple. Not only is fellow tech giant Amazon a major competitor, but Apple typically reserves its streaming services exclusively for its own devices. After all, Apple already runs its own line of voice-activated speaker with the HomePod.
So what’s in it for Apple? It seems the cross-competitor integration arrives as somewhat of an “olive branch” extended from Apple Inc. The hope is to strike a deal with the world’s leading e-commerce company to sell a variety of Apple products on Amazon’s website, including iPhones and iPads. Considering how Amazon Echo is currently the most popular smart home device on the market, Apple has much to gain from increased traffic onto its own music streaming service.
By cross-pollinating the top voice-activated device with one of the world’s top music streaming platforms, the move becomes more mutually-beneficial than anything else. Why? Because, in a highly competitive world of music streaming, it takes listeners off of Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn, all of which are already integrated with Amazon Echo devices.
Not only that, it allows Amazon to expand its musically-licensed offerings to Apple’s 70+ million active subscriber base. With five of the top six music streaming platforms now integrated with Echo, Amazon can now market their product to over 97 percent of domestic music streamers in the US alone.
Next stop for the Echo: Google’s YouTube Music and YouTube Music Premium.
H/T: The Verge