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Amazon Music Launches on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 Set-Tops

Todd Spangler

Amazon Music is rolling out on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 — the first pay-TV distribution deal for the ecommerce company’s music service.

The cable operator’s addition of Amazon Music comes six months after it added Amazon Prime Video to the X1 lineup. Prime Video quickly became one of the most-used apps on the service, which prompted the operator to explore adding Amazon’s music service as well, said Nancy Spears, VP of business operations and strategy, Comcast Cable.

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For Comcast, it’s a continuation of the strategy to become the one-stop-shop for all media and entertainment — in other words, to be the “input 1” to the TV so subscribers won’t switch to another device like a Roku or Apple TV. “We want to build a unique and differentiated experience to integrate the best entertainment services in one place,” Spears said.

With Amazon Music, Prime members have access to over 2 million songs and several thousand playlists and stations at no additional cost. The Amazon Music Unlimited tier ($9.99 per month) provides on-demand access to more than 50 million tracks plus thousands of playlists and stations.

Amazon Music joins other music apps available through X1, including YouTube, SiriusXM’s Pandora, iHeartRadio, NPR One, and Music Choice. As for whether Comcast is in talks on a deal for Apple Music or Spotify, Spears said, “We’re always open to new partnerships.” Video-streaming apps on X1 include Netflix, Tubi, and CuriosityStream.

Under the agreement, Amazon Music also is available through Comcast’s internet-delivered Flex service targeted at cord-cutters, which costs $5 per month per set-top and provides access to Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and a collection of free movies and shows.

In the first quarter of 2019, Comcast lost a net 107,000 residential video subscribers, to stand at 20.85 million at the end of the period. The cable operator says about two-thirds of those are now on X1.

Amazon won’t say how many customers it has for Amazon Music but says it there are “tens of millions.” Amazon Music is available on iOS and Android devices, PCs, Macs, Amazon Echo and Alexa-enabled devices including Fire TV. (It’s not on Apple TV.)

“We’re always finding new ways for customers to engage with Amazon Music,” said Ryan Redington, director of Amazon Music.

To access Amazon Music on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 or Flex services, customers can just say “Amazon Music” into their voice remote to browse, discover and listen to songs, playlists and stations. Searching for artists (e.g. Taylor Swift) will deliver users to landing pages on Comcast’s on-screen TV menus that pull together all content related to that artist across multiple sources.

Comcast users must be customers of Amazon Prime and/or Amazon Music Unlimited to access the app on their set-tops. Also, even if they’ve already logged in to the Prime Video app on X1, they will need to separately pair their Amazon Music account.

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