Amazon launches Echo smart-speakers and Alexa in Brazil
In September, Amazon launched its Prime membership program in Brazil, including its music-streaming services. Less than a month later, that launch has been followed by the debut of Amazon’s Echo smart speakers in Brazil,...
October 4, 2019
Amazon springs surprises at its launch of new Alexa devices
We reported earlier this week on the main rumours about Amazon’s products-launch event scheduled for Wednesday: Alexa-enabled earphones and a higher-quality (in an audio sense) Echo smart speaker. Both devices were unveiled...
September 26, 2019
Amazon reveals details on how it keeps Alexa data
In an exchange with US senator Chris Coons, Amazon has been explaining more about how it stores data on people’s interactions with its Alexa voice assistant. Coons had written to the company asking how long it stores recordings...
July 4, 2019
Amazon expands Alexa in-skill purchasing to UK and Germany
Amazon is now helping developers of Alexa skills (the smart-speaker equivalent of apps) make money in the UK and Germany. This is through the expansion of its ‘in-skill purchasing’ feature from the US. “Customers can...
June 4, 2019
Amazon launches Alexa in-skill purchasing internationally
It’s often assumed that you can’t make money from any ‘skills’ (the smart-speaker equivalent of apps) for voice assistants like Alexa. Actually, Amazon launched a feature called ‘in-skill purchasing’ in the US...
May 2, 2019
Amazon under fire after report on teams listening to Alexa users
Props to Bloomberg for its punchy intro to a report about how Amazon is managing its Alexa voice-assistant platform. “Tens of millions of people use smart speakers and their voice software to play games, find music or...
April 12, 2019
Does Alexa need a ‘robot body’ to go to the next level?
We’re getting used to chatting to smart speakers, but what if Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri manifested themselves as actual robots? Strange though it may seem, Amazon is thinking about the idea. “The only way to make...
March 28, 2019
AI-music startup Endel to release albums through Warner Music
Music Ally has for some time been covering the emerging wave of startups exploring AI music: algorithms trained on catalogues of existing music, with the aim of then being able to create their own new melodies – and even...
March 22, 2019
Sandbox Issue 224: Up Hit Creek. THE DRY STREAMS PARADOX
Lead: The Dry Streams Paradox is when there is a huge gap between the number of streams an act gets and the number of fans they have or can reach. Just because someone plays one of your songs, it does not follow that they...
March 20, 2019
Ticketmaster US opens up its events to Amazon Alexa
It’s a busy week for new music features on Amazon’s Alexa voice-assistant. Having launched its radio-DJ-style Song ID feature for announcing track and artist names before they play, now Alexa can do more with concert...
March 8, 2019
Alexa gets Song ID feature to announce tracks like a radio DJ
Back in the days of home taping not-actually killing music, there was a real art to pressing the ‘record’ button at exactly the right moment to cut out the DJ talking. Kids with playlists nowadays don’t...
March 7, 2019
Podcasts app Pocket Casts is launching an Amazon Alexa skill
For people who aren’t using iTunes or Spotify to get their podcasts, Pocket Casts is one of the better independent podcast apps. Now it’s making an interesting leap from smartphones to smart speakers, courtesy of its...
February 28, 2019