Amazon’s Alexa can now help you set the mood by finding the right music to play for over 500 different ‘activities.’ Users can ask Alexa to play music for ‘taking a bath’ or to ‘cook to’ all with just a simple voice command. Users can also ask for a particular genre along the activity of their choice, like “Alexa, play classical music for sleeping.” This new feature is available with Amazon Prime music, a music catalog of over 2 million songs available to anyone with a Prime music subscription. And of course, it also works with Amazon Music Unlimited, Amazon’s subscription music service, which is available to Prime members for $7.99 a month or $9.99 for non-Prime members.
These improved voice controls were built based on the large amount of data Amazon has collected on how Alexa users requested their tunes. The company found that people weren’t just asking for a particular artist or music genre, but rather what they intended to listen to music for. For instance, Amazon found that a majority of these types of requests, at 27%, were people asking for music to de-stress.
Song Request Versus Song Intent
Amazon may have over 18,000 third party skills, but it is still building out native capabilities to enhance the user experience and drive engagement. It is no surprise that one of the most popular uses of Alexa-enabled devices is listening to music and now Amazon Music (Prime and Unlimited) represents the third large music subscription service worldwide. The music service already provided users with the ability to browse music by genre, era, mood or lyrics through Alexa, but those commands were about specific user requests.
But this new activity feature is different. Amazon is now leveraging Alexa’s AI capabilities to deliver music based on user intent versus a specific user request. By making it easier for people to find that perfect playlist or song based on activity, Amazon is providing a powerful incentive for consumers to increase their use of Amazon Music and ultimately drive more subscriptions to the full service. What makes this feature so powerful is that it is already intuitive. Consumers have already been asking Alexa for music based on its use and now she can deliver.