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Daily Crunch: Free Spotify comes to Alexa

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Spotify’s free music service will now stream on Alexa devices, plus Bose and Sonos smart speakers

Spotify has worked with Amazon Echo since 2016, but only for premium subscribers. Today, that changes as Spotify says its free tier will now stream across Alexa-powered devices, as well as other smart

Luna is a new kind of space company helping biotech find its footing in microgravity

Toronto-based startup Luna Design and Innovation is a prime example of the kind of space company that is increasingly starting up to take advantage of the changing economics of the larger industry. Fo

Amazon’s new Fire TV Blaster works with Echo to control your TV, soundbar, cable box and more

Amazon already offers Alexa voice control to TV owners through its Fire TV devices, by way of a voice remote or by pairing an Echo device with a Fire TV, for hands-free voice commands. Now, it’s

Amazon makes its music streaming service free with ads

Amazon is making its music streaming service free. The company previously offered free, ad-supported streaming only to customers who owned an Amazon Echo device. Now it’s rolling out free stream

Salesforce wants to bring voice to the workplace

At its annual Dreamforce mega-conference in San Francisco, Salesforce today introduced the next steps in its Einstein Voice project, which it first announced last year. Einstein Voice is the company&#

AWS confirms reports it will challenge JEDI contract award to Microsoft

Surely just about everyone was surprised when the Department of Defense last month named Microsoft as the winner of the decade-long, $10 billion JEDI cloud contract — none more so than Amazon, t

Amazon and Google double down on hands-free recipes to help sell their smart displays

Amazon and Google have identified a solid use case for their smart speaker devices, powered by Alexa and Google Assistant, respectively: recipes. The companies this week have both announced new produc

The AI stack that’s changing retail personalization

While brands and retailers are sitting on enormous amounts of data, only a handful are actually leveraging it to its full potential.

D2C companies deliver customer delight and simplicity

D2C brands personalize the buying experience, optimize customer delight, educate users at the right cadence and ultimately, help consumers successfully harvest the emotions they were seeking.

Amazon to open its first non-Whole Foods grocery store in 2020

Amazon is opening its first non-Whole Foods grocery store in the LA neighborhood of Woodland Hills, the retailer today confirmed. The news of the new store was first reported by CNET, which spotted se

Corporate, public investments spur interest in Pacific Northwest startups

Why are businesses and government organizations investing so much into the the strip of land down the West Coast from Vancouver, Canada to Portland, Oregon?

Yandex is now testing a self-driving sidewalk cargo delivery robot

Add another one to the list of companies piloting small, wheeled, autonomous robots for small-package and food delivery: Yandex . Russia’s search and services giant has expanded its ambitions in

Amazon is planning a $40M robotics hub near Boston

Amazon announced a plan today to build a $40 million, 350,000-square-foot robotics innovation hub in Westborough, Mass. The new facility will bring 200 technology and advanced manufacturing jobs when

Echo Studio is Amazon’s lower-cost answer to the HomePod

Amazon kickstarted the smart speaker market with the original Echo, way back in late-2014. Like many of the company’s hardware offerings, it was very much a utilitarian device. The first Echo was sm

How Europe overtook the US in championing free markets

The deregulation of major U.S. industries like telecom and energy in the 1970s and 80s sparked competition that lowered consumer prices and drove product innovation between competitors. Europe, on the

Ben Horowitz on shocking rules and dramatic object lessons

Ben Horowitz, co-founder of venture firm Andreessen Horowitz, has a new book out titled “What You Do Is Who You Are,” which takes a look at how to create culture at a company. We sat down with Hor

Amazon now sells movie tickets in India

Amazon has set its eye on the next business it wants to disrupt in its key overseas market India: online movie tickets. The e-commerce giant said Saturday it has partnered with local online movie tick

Lightspeed’s Jeremy Liew is on the hunt for always-on media startups

Perhaps best known for a career-making seed investment in Snapchat, Lightspeed partner Jeremy Liew is a leading investor across media and entertainment, making bets on startups like Cheddar, Giphy, HQ

Amazon Echo Buds review

It’s a wonder that Echo Buds didn’t arrive sooner. Earbuds (I still can’t write “hearables” without cringing a bit) are the clearest path to making Alexa work outside of the home. Amazon, af
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