Amazon India’s Prime Music has integrated the voice features of its smart assistant Alexa, which can be used on the music app and Echo devices. This allows users to request favourite songs and create new playlists using voice commands, doing away with the need for text-based browsing.
Currently, Amazon also offers the Fire TV remote, which is voice-enabled and recently launched Fire TV Cube in the US, which allows for a hands-free experience.
Amazon Prime Music, launched in February in India, includes songs across International and Indian music labels in over 10 languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi, Bengali, Kannada, Telugu and others. It is available on the Android and iOS mobile phone apps, desktop app and web player, Amazon Fire TV sticks and Amazon Echo devices as part of the Prime membership, which costs users Rs 999 per year or Rs 129 per month.
“At Amazon, we constantly listen to our customers’ feedback and innovate to serve their needs in the best possible ways. With the launch of these new ways to discover music, we have made it easier than ever to make music listening using your voice simpler and easier with Alexa being more like your best friend who understands you well and knows what you want to listen to – all just by asking!,” said Sahas Malhotra, director of Amazon Prime Music India, in a statement.
The move towards voice-based search for products and services is likely to play a big role in targeting the next set of digital customers in India who are comfortable browsing in local languages. Voice eliminates the need for typing on Indic language keyboards.
Stepping up its presence and taking on Amazon in the voice-based market is homegrown e-commerce firm Flipkart, which earlier this month acquired Bengaluru-based artificial-intelligence based speech recognition startup Liv.ai.
According to a study consulting firm KPMG, 90% of new users coming online in India are native language speakers and typing and searching in English is complex for them. The study further said that the Hindi internet user base is likely to outgrow the English user base by 2021.