The Amazon Echo gained a huge feature today, thanks to its new integration with Spotify. Echo owners can now ask Alexa, Echo's cloud-powered artificial intelligence, to play their favorite Spotify tracks or playlists.
Spotify support arrives just after the Echo gained the ability to order pizza. If this is the future, count me in.
The Echo has long supported music playback, but has until today been limited to Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn Radio, and of course Amazon Prime Music. Each of these services has a fan base, but none as big as Spotify. Spotify's music library crushes Amazon Prime Music, for example, and the app and service are far easier to use across devices and the Web. It boasts 30 million tracks to Amazon's paltry 1 million.
Spotify also counts some 20 million paid subscribers.
Only those Spotify Premium subscribers (at $10 per month) will be able to access the new features, which is a bit of a shame. Spotify does let people test Premium for free for 30 days. Echo owners can log into their Spotify account via the Alexa app on their smartphone or tablet to link the two. The Spotify Connect tool in Spotify's mobile app can transfer all the user's Spotify settings directly to Echo.
Once linked, Echo gains native voice-command support for Spotify. Owners can say, "Alexa, play 'Stairway to Heaven' on Spotify," or "Alexa, play my Spotify 2015 party playlist."
If you're hosting a Super Bowl party this Sunday, the Amazon Echo can now add a killer soundtrack. Feeling hungry? Let's not forget Echo's new pizza-ordering powers to help you feed your guests.
Using the Alexa app, scroll down to Alexa's skills settings. Dive in and link a Domino's pizza profile and you'll be able to place orders for Domino's pizza and check on the status of each order by asking Alexa. Domino's has been fairly aggressive in the mobile space, so joining Alexa's list of skills is a natural step for the company.
Last year, Domino's made it possible to order pizza via text and Twitter.
Alexa's set of skills has grown rapidly in recent weeks. Echo owners can ask about movies and movie times, ask Alexa to read Audible and Kindle books, ask to listen to the Beatles in Prime Music, set custom alarm tones, create IFTTT triggers, and even look up local restaurants and businesses.
Amazon sells the Echo for $180.
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