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Alexa’s ‘flash briefing’ can now update you on the latest music news and events


Amazon Alexa’s popular “Flash Briefing” skill, designed to give you the latest news and information from a series of customizable news sources, can now tell you about what’s happening in the world of music, too. On Thursday, Amazon introduced a new skill called “Today in Music,” which will provide daily music news updates, including new releases, details on upcoming music events and shows happening nearby, news on top artists, plus other exclusive content.

The content will be curated in-house by Amazon Music’s staff, and may include things like exclusive commentary from artists, or details on the newest playlists and stations the team has launched.

In addition, the briefing may include information about music-related features in users’ Prime and Amazon Music Unlimited subscriptions, notes Amazon.

Like Alexa’s other skills, you can turn on the music briefing by asking. To do so, you’ll say: “Alexa, enable ‘Today in Music.” You can also add the skill from the Alexa companion app or via the skill’s page on the web. Then, as always, you can listen to whatever news you’ve configured for your briefing, by saying something like “Alexa, what’s the news?” or “Alexa, what’s my flash briefing?” or similar commands.

The launch is another example of how Amazon uses Alexa to promote its other services, including those that generate revenue. Already, there are Amazon-created skills for things like its food delivery service, Amazon Restaurants; those that are companions to Amazon Video’s original TV series, one for Amazon Publishing, as well as the brand-new app Amazon Storytime, which ties into Amazon Rapids and Amazon-owned Audible.

While these skills don’t necessarily make money directly for Amazon, if the Amazon Echo and other Alexa-powered devices become broadly adopted, it gives Amazon another window to market its services to consumers.

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