The newly launched Amazon Echo devices have just started shipping, and now music-streaming service Saavn has announced its partnership with Amazon to expand its reach. Using the Alexa Skills Kit, Saavn is now accessible on Amazon Echo devices, and it says it is one of the first music streaming services to come pre-enabled on Amazon Echo devices in the country.
You just need to ask Alexa on your Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Plus to play a song directly from Saavn. The voice assistant picks the songs available on Saavn by their titles. However, you can also use your voice to play an entire playlist from your favourite singer or composer or even play the music album for a particular movie.
Amazon's Alexa also enables users to search for and stream songs by genre on Saavn, and plays songs on the basis of the actors who have featured in them. Furthermore, Saavn's top playlists, including Road Trip and Golden Ghazals, can also be streamed through Alexa on Echo devices.
"The relationship marks Saavn's initial foray into the voice OS space, a sector which is expected to grow with the growing demand for IoT products across the world. It also underlines the platform's commitment to making high-quality music more accessible to Indian audiences across multiple service channels by enabling convenient music streaming," Saavn said in a press statement.
Earlier this week, Amazon also launched the Alexa app in the country. Looking at the app and going by previous announcements, Amazon Prime Music and TuneIn are amongst the other options to stream music on the speakers. The India-specific Alexa app also offers localised features such as the ability to ask for local weather and traffic.
Amazon claims to have taught Alexa to speak and listen to "Hinglish" phrases to match the preferences of Indian users ahead of the availability of its Echo lineup. The voice assistant is said to be capable of wishing users "Happy Diwali and a prosperous New Year!"
One of the reasons why Amazon chose Saavn over its closest competitor Gaana.com -- another popular music streaming app in the country -- is the availability of a bunch of originals. The New York City-headquartered digital distributor, co-founded by US-born Rishi Malhotra and his two colleagues Vinodh Bhat and Paramdeep Singh back in 2006, currently owns rights to over 36 million music tracks. The initial model of the platform was to distribute Bollywood content to enterprises in western regions. However, in 2009, the Saavn.com site became a B2C offering and started targeting masses around the world.