Most of the new countries are in Europe and South America, including Iceland, Greece, Sweden, Colombia, Bolivia, Poland and Peru. You can see the full list of countries in the official statement (opens in new tab).
Releasing both at once allows people in these countries to get something of a "complete" experience out of their Echo device immediately. Amazon's music service may lag behind Spotify and Apple in terms of subscribers, but one of its best perks is that it offers a relatively inexpensive "Echo Plan" that grants full access to Amazon Music Unlimited's roughly 40 million songs from a single Echo, Echo Plus or Echo Dot device.
Provided you're enrolled in the plan, all you need to do to access the service is say, "Alexa, play music" or something more specific like "Alexa, play Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up."
Alternatively, subscribers can access Amazon's music service across Amazon Fire TV, iOS, Android devices and PCs through two more expensive plans that compare with those of competitors.
With the individual plan, you can listen to songs across 10 different devices, while the family plan lets up to six people access music from the same account. The latter is especially appealing in terms of an Echo-focused plan, as Alexa now has the power to recognize different voices and so cater to different musical preferences.
Much as with Amazon's wide rollout of Amazon Prime Video a year ago, it's a significant move as it allows customers in these countries to access Amazon's streaming media without the need for direct Amazon Prime membership. Instead, they can sign up for supported media plans individually.
"Music is such an incredible global connector, and with Amazon Music Unlimited we’ve been able to give listeners access to an extensive catalog with the added experience of using their own voice to hear music in so many ways with Alexa," said Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music, in a prepared statement.
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