Alexa Adds Song Sharing Feature to Echo Smart Speakers and Mobile App
Alexa can now share the music you enjoy with your friends even as you listen to it. The new Alexa Music Sharing feature serves a dual cause of encouraging people to see the voice assistant as a social tool and a good music streaming platform, one of the most popular uses for voice assistants in general.
Alexa users listening to a song on an Echo smart speaker or their smartphone can ask the voice assistant to share the music with any contact who owns an Echo or has the Alexa mobile app. The recipient will get a notification, and Alexa will ask if they want to hear the song and what device they want to play the song on and allowing them to send a reaction back to the sender. The music will play on the recipient’s default music streaming service if the song is available there, or use another streaming service if not. Alexa can tap an enormous playlist across Amazon Music, Apple Music, iheartradio, TuneIn, and Radio.com, but in case none of those have the song being shared, Alexa will offer to play a music station that might be relevant to the song title or artist.
“Everyone loves sharing music. The ability to help your friends discover new artists or songs, relive old memories with family, or just share a musical experience with those you love, is one of life’s great pleasures—and the great news is that music sharing just got easier with Alexa,” Amazon explained in a blog post announcing the feature. “This is just the beginning for this feature, we will continue to evolve this experience over time and are excited to hear what customers think.”
Amazon has been boosting Alexa’s musical prowess a lot over the last couple of years. Last year, the voice assistant gained the ability to distinguish requests for variations on a song. Alexa can differentiate between live, standard, instrumental, and other types of recording, switching from one to another mid-song on request, from dance remix to a capella, for example. Alexa is even a source of exclusive music news, revealing Katy Perry’s latest album’s release date before anyone else. Combining social sharing with streaming music, always ranked among the most popular features for voice assistants, could be a boon for both Alexa and Amazon Music, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic when it’s difficult to share music in-person with friends. The pre-Valentine’s Day timing should also help to get people to try out the features, perhaps sharing love songs as musical valentines.