Billie Eilish Becomes the Literal Face of a Limited Edition Amazon Echo Studio Smart Speaker
Singer Billie Eilish has graced a new limited edition of the Amazon Echo Studio with her face as a promotion for her “Happier Than Ever” album. The record’s cover art wraps around the smart speaker, the latest in cross-marketing experiments by celebrities with smart home and voice assistant technology.
The Amazon Echo Studio was originally released in 2019 as a premium version of Amazon’s other smart speakers. The device has bigger bass and better high-end fidelity than the Echo or Echo Dot and offers a three-dimensional audio experience driven by Dolby Atmos technology. Those still stand out from the latest generation of the Echo. However, Amazon did bring the Echo Studio’s ability to test a room’s acoustics and adapt the audio accordingly from the Studio to the spherical Echo.
The Eilish edition of the Echo Studio comes with half a year’s subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited to go with the adapted album cover art. That makes the $230 device slightly less expensive than buying the $200 standard edition and paying $8 a month or $80 for a year’s access for Amazon Prime members. Of course, Amazon’s gambit is that people buying a special version of the Echo Studio will shell out for continued access if they don’t already have a subscription. The decision to connect Eilish’s new music to the Echo Studio also has an audio rationale. A spatial audio version of “Happier Than Ever” requires tech like the Echo Studio to give it an appropriate sense of space and multidirectional sound.
“My new limited-edition Echo Studio is available for pre-order now,” Billie Eilish said in a statement. “I can’t wait for my cutie fans to be able to listen to my new album Happier Than Ever in spatial audio, available on Amazon Music Unlimited.”
Amazon and other smart home and voice AI developers have stepped up their star power of late in several ways. Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg created three colorful designs for the Echo Dot as part of Amazon’s Build It program. Midnight Kiss scored enough pre-orders to go into production. Meanwhile, Google Assistant just joined Reese Witherspoon’s book club with a voice app that includes unique commentary from the actress and other bonuses. This isn’t even Eilish’s first collaboration with Amazon Music. She joined the initial lineup of artists for the DJ Mode that augments select streaming stations with additional commentary on the Billie Eilish Takeover. It may just be a matter of time before she joins Melissa McCarthy, Shaquille O’Neal and Samuel L. Jackson as an alternative Alexa voice. Then her mega-fans could interact with Eilish’s voice from a picture of her own face.