A little more than a year after launching in the U.S., Amazon has announced that its Alexa-powered smart speakers are now available to buy in more than 80 markets*, while its Amazon Music Unlimited music streaming service is arriving in 28 new markets from today.
Up until now, the Amazon Echo was only officially available to buy in the U.S., U.K, Germany, Austria, Canada, Japan, and India, so today represents a notable expansion for the smart speaker. However, the voice-controlled contraption won’t be available in local languages, meaning buyers will have to rely on their English, German, or Japanese skills.
The ecommerce giant first introduced Amazon Music Unlimited to its domestic market in October last year, with four core plans: $4/month for access on a single Echo device; a discounted $8/month for access on any compatible device with a Prime subscription; and $10/month for everyone else. Amazon later launched a family plan for multiple users for $15/month. The service then expanded into Europe, including the U.K., Germany, and Austria, followed by Japan last month.
Now, Amazon Music Unlimited is landing in nearly 30 new markets across Europe and Latin America, including Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Finland, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and Uruguay. It’s worth noting that although Alexa isn’t yet truly multilingual, the visual display on the Amazon Music player will display information in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese.
Amazon Music Unlimited is basically an extension of Amazon’s existing Prime Music service, which offers a limited selection of tracks as part of Amazon’s annual Prime membership. Indeed, today Prime Music is still available in some markets where Amazon Music Unlimited isn’t, such as Canada. But with Amazon Music Unlimited, the company is taking on the big guns of the music-streaming realm, like Spotify and Apple Music, with an unshackled, all-encompassing service featuring 40 million tracks on-demand.
Central to the goal of Amazon Music is Amazon’s fast-growing line of Alexa-powered Echo speakers, which were among the company’s top-selling devices over Black Friday / Cyber Monday. Users can request specific songs, artists, or genres by simply asking Alexa. Additionally, a few months back Amazon made Alexa available in the Amazon Music app for those without Echo speakers.
With these new market launches, Amazon said that it will offer three subscription plans, with prices varying by country. These will be structured similarly to the options elsewhere and will include a low-priced Echo-only plan.
The 80 new countries where consumers can now arrange to have an Echo shipped include all 28 countries where Amazon Music Unlimited launched today, in addition to dozens more around the world including a handful of countries in Africa. The Echo devices can be bought from Amazon.com, or through the local stores in the U.K. and Germany.
*An earlier version of this article stated that the Amazon Echo was being made available to buy in just 28 markets, but we since learned that it’s launching in many more countries.
The audio problem: Learn how new cloud-based API solutions are solving imperfect, frustrating audio in video conferences. Access here