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Amazon Just Added Two Features to Its Echo Devices

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You can now make Skype calls through Echo

Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show owners will now be able to make Skype calls from their smart speakers, and will also be able to access Pandora’s (P) premium service with voice commands. Calling through Amazon Echo and its variants has always been one of its best features. But you could do so only using Amazon’s (AMZN) software until now. Now, you can ask Alexa to Skype your contacts. This is a big move in furthering Amazon’s relationship with Microsoft (MSFT).

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It’s a win-win for both companies. The increasing popularity of the Echo could allow Skype to regain users after the WhatsApp’s video calling feature hit its user base. Meanwhile, the e-commerce giant could use better chat support. Echo devices with screens can offer a full Skype experience. You can also ask Alexa to dial a number through Skype.

Premium Pandora service can now be accessed via Echo

Meanwhile, Amazon’s partnership with Pandora means you can request single songs, whole albums, and custom playlists on demand through your Premium Pandora account. This feature could benefit Pandora, which has only 6.8 million paid subscribers.

Pandora’s paid subscribers now account for 30% of its revenue. Its subscription business grew 49% YoY in the third quarter.

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