Amazon Music Unlimited to launch in Australia with cheaper subscription tier

Tech innovations launched at CES 2018

The Echo has been available in the United States for years - well before Google entered the market - but this is the first time the gadget has been officially sold in Australia via Amazon's freshly-launched Aussie website.

Telstra's Director of Product Jeremy Howe said "Smart home technology is already making a real difference to the lives of many Australian households, and we're excited to welcome Amazon Alexa as a service in the Australian market".

"We've seen phenomenal feedback from customers who use Amazon Music Unlimited, and we're thrilled to bring an entirely new world of music streaming possibilities to listeners in Australia and New Zealand", said Amazon Music's Head of International Expansion Sean McMullan. The version of Alexa launched will also be catered specifically for Australia and New Zealand, where it will come loaded with knowledge about the local areas, as well as skills created by local developers.

The device hits stores in New Zealand and Australia in early February with an Air New Zealand feature to be made available through the Amazon Alexa skill store that will allow its customers to conveniently check their flight status.

Voice services, like Amazon's Alexa, let you do many things - from asking questions, checking your calendar, playing music and controlling your compatible smart home devices using your voice. However, for a limited time, Amazon will be offering reduced introductory prices for its three smart speakers, with the Echo priced at $119 AUD, the Echo Dot at $49 AUD, and the Echo Plus costing $199 AUD.

The launch of Amazon down under was expected to shake up the retail space in Australia, despite many organisations having years to prepare for such a company to enter the local market.

'Hey Alexa, start the meeting.' AWS has launched Alexa for Business as it readies customers for the next wave of disruption, voice.

Aussie brands including Airtasker, Hipages, Seek, Energy Australia, Qantas and NAB have been quick to ink a deal with Amazon Alexa, as the technology becomes available nationwide from February. Find out more about this machine-learning innovation with our Alexa smart person's guide.

The bank a year ago unveiled a 'Talk to NAB' app for Google Assistant.

The new feature allows users to link Alexa to their Dimmi account, enabling voice reservations at more than 4000 restaurants.

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