Alexa Adds SiriusXM Library Archive and Device Syncing
SiriusXM subscribers can now ask Amazon Alexa to play shows from its back catalog on-demand. The new feature provides access to more than 10,000 hours of shows, in addition to the live programming Alexa added to its repertoire back in 2017.
Archived and Personalized Audio
SiriusXM already includes more than 300 live programming channels through Alexa. The new addition simply extends when listeners can hear the show played. The content can be accessed via Amazon Echo smart speakers or other Alexa-powered devices. While users can ask Alexa to play the most recent episodes of shows, older content in the library is curated to focus on highlights, such as specific Howard Stern interviews or live concerts recorded by SiriusXM.
The content library isn’t the only new addition to SiriusXM on Alexa. The voice assistant offers access to Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora. SiriusXM or Alexa can create a unique audio station through Pandora’s Music Genome Project. It’s basically the same system Pandora uses to customize music stations based on approval or disapproval of individual songs, but applied through SiriusXM’s music library and managed through Alexa. When Sirius XM is playing a station, the listener can tell Alexa whether or not they like the song and the station will adjust its playlist accordingly.
Connected Media, Connected Home
The final new feature SiriusXM added to Alexa is the ability to sync across Alexa-enabled devices. That means a listener can pause a song playing on an Echo is one room and start it up from the same spot from an Echo in a different room, or from the app on a mobile device or a car built with Alexa. That’s a very useful feature for those using multiple Alexa devices in their home and adds another angle for Amazon to sell the idea of an Alexa-powered smart home to customers.
It’s the same approach Google is taking in its efforts to make it easy for people to build out a smart home around Google Assistant. Google has been aggressively expanding its lineup of smart home devices with Google Assistant built-in, including the Nest Wifi, a router with Google Assistant built-in and Nest Mini, a smart speaker with a price point equal to the Amazon Echo Dot, at its Made by Google event.
SiriusXM and media services are just one facet of the competition among smart home device makers. Just a month ago, Google Assistant integrated SiriusXM into Google Nest devices, which put it at the same level as Alexa until the latest expansion pushed Amazon’s voice assistant ahead. The competition is still fierce, but as the entry prices for smart speakers and smart displays continue to drop, features like SiriusXM’s archive could be a factor in tipping a consumer into picking one voice assistant and its devices as the default purchase.