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How NAB and Westpac infiltrated Amazon's Alexa launch in Australia

18 January 2018

Set to launch in Australia and New Zealand on February 1, Amazon Music Unlimited will become available with a catalogue of more than 45 million songs.

Following a fairly mixed reception to its "Echo Show" offering, Amazon is targeting its alarm clock-cum-smart-camera, the Echo Spot, in the European market with its United Kingdom launch.

Like Google's Assistant, Alexa will have its own way of answering questions and talking to those connection around the home, but more importantly it will have the ability to understand the diverse Australian accents, with the way we speak a big part of what makes a smart speaker usable. Content services include news bulletin and weather information, access local knowledge, following favourite sports teams, read ebooks, play music, set timers and alarms, check calendars and create shopping lists. It has a 2.5-inch downfiring woofer, dedicated tweeter, Dolby processing, and 360 degree omni-directional audio.

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In case you're not familiar, the Echo speakers are powered by Amazon's Alexa digital assistant and can be controlled with voice commands.

The Echo Dot is the baby of the bunch and is a great way to smarten up the home at an affordable cost.

Starting today, customers in Australia can preorder an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Plus at the Amazon website, with devices beginning to ship early next month. They will also be available at JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, Myer and Telstra. Next up is the Individual Plan at AUD $11.99 per month that also lets you access the music service from a mobile device or PC.

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While the rollout might be good for Australians and New Zealanders who want Echoes for themselves, it'll be harder for Amazon to wean them off other music streaming services, like Spotify, which has been available in Australia since 2012.

"Alexa, turn it up", "Alexa, skip this song" and "Alexa, which song is this?" will be your best friend - as will Amazon Music Unlimited, which, thankfully, features a whole lot of functions I came to know and love with Pandora. For a limited time, you can get the Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Plus for $119, $49 and $199, respectively. The last option is the Family Plan, allowing up to six members of a household to share a subscription for AUD $17.99 per month.

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How NAB and Westpac infiltrated Amazon's Alexa launch in Australia