One of the original and most popular features that comes with your Amazon Echo is the Flash Briefing. It’s designed to provide you with the latest news from a series of customizable sources like NPR, ESPN, Techmeme and several others. Now there is an official skill from the company for getting the latest in music news to start your day.
Today in Music Alexa Skill by Amazon
Last week Amazon introduced a new skill called Today in Music. This new skill provides daily music news updates. It provides information about the latest releases, details on upcoming music concerts that are happening nearby, news on popular top musicians, and other content that is exclusive to the app and the Amazon Music service. Everything is curated in-house by staff of Amazon Music. It will periodically include exclusive commentary by artists.
The presentation is ‘podcast-style’ with two hosts that do more than just read headlines. They give you news, short reviews, and throw in some humor for good measure. It’s a new skill and I can see a lot of potential here. One thing I would like to see is the ability to customize it so you can narrow down the news to specific genres of music.
As with other Skills for Alexa, the easiest way to turn it on is to say: “Alexa, enable today in music.” Or, you can turn it on through the Alexa companion app on your phone or directly through your computer’s browser by visiting the Skill section at alexa.amazon.com. It will work with all Amazon Echo models and other Alexa powered devices.
By creating its own skills, Amazon is able to promote its own services over others and generate more revenue for the company. Amazon doesn’t make money directly from the skills it develops. The revenue is generated by having skills point users to other Amazon-owned services such as Audible or its local food delivery service.
It also has companion-skill for its Amazon Originals like the detective series Bosch, The Grand Tour, and its version of The Tick. Each of those, of course, ties to Amazon Prime Video which you can subscribe to for $8.99/month as a stand-alone service or $99/year for the full Prime membership that includes free 2-Day shipping and a ton of other benefits.
Do you own an Amazon Echo device or other hardware that comes with Alexa? What are some of your favorite skills (music or others) that you have added to your Flash Briefing? Leave a comment below and let us know!