Okay…so while it’s not quite ‘world’ domination, Amazon has certainly started to flex some of its muscles when it comes to taking over your life. Over the past few weeks, the Seattle juggernaut has started to bring out a number of products and services, all designed to integrate Amazon much more into your day-to-day life than before and much less about just being known as an all conquering global mega-market.
First up, Music Unlimited, the brand new, on-demand music streaming service. Announced this week, Amazon is entering an incredibly crowded market where many have tried and failed (remember Tidal?) to compete. With over 40 million users, Spotify dominates – but after a few hurdles, Apple Music has started to make some head wind. So where does Amazon fit in? Whilst the core idea is still the same (streaming music for a monthly fee), it’s the additional extras and ecosystem that should certainly turn a few heads.
This leads us nicely on to the next recent announcement from Amazon…Alexa. Alexa is the virtual assistant to the Echo, Amazon’s own wireless speaker. This is where the company could certainly have an edge over its rivals not just with music but as a technology ecosystem. With the Echo, Amazon is going big on voice-control in home so whether it’s finding out what the latest news is or whether it’s going to rain, this is a play for Amazon – and Music Unlimited will be another string to that bow. Alexa is able to understand a user’s listening habits and play music accordingly. She can understand request for music based on mood so if you want something more uplifting, simply say ‘Alexa, play happy music’ and she will do. And throwing some slight shade at Shazam, she will also find songs for you based on lyrics. So sing her a song, she will find it.
That’s not all. There are strong rumours that Amazon plan to open it’s very own bricks and mortar store following the introduction of Amazon Fresh which would allow customers to pick up food orders and there’s even talk that Amazon will be ditching the likes of UPS and FedEx to create its very own delivery network – a move that could save the company a staggering $1.1 billion annually.