Amazon has launched its Alexa and Echo voice-enabled assistants in France, with TV technology provider Netgem named among the companies that will integrate the technology in their devices.
The launch of Alexa means that French customers will be able to purchase Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Spot voice-controlled speakers, while French developers will be able to build Alexa skills and integrate Alexa into its own products.
In a move that could boost take-up of Prime subscriptions in the country, Amazon has also launched its Prime Music service in France alongside the launch of Alexa.This offers users access to about two million titles to listen to and download via an Amazon Prime subscription. Users can listen to up to 40 hours of streamed mushc a month without advertising, including French and Francophone artists such as Maître Gims, Julien Doré, MC Solaar, M83 and Benjamin Biolay.
Amazon Echo will be available in France for €99.99, while Echo Dot will const €59.99 and Echo Spot, equipped with a screen, will be available for €129.99.
Consumer electronics chain Boulanger will market the devices, which will also be available on the Amazon.fr website with a discounts of up to 50% for a limited period.
“Tens of millions of customers around the world are already using Alexa, and today we’re excited to introduce Alexa to our customers in France,” said Jorrit Van der Meulen, Vice President, Amazon Devices International.
“We’ve built an entirely new experience from the ground up that honours the French language and culture, allowing customers to just ask to get music, weather, news, information, and more—just by asking. And there are already hundreds of skills for French customers from some of the most popular brands in France.”
Amazon has also launched the Alexa Skills Set (ASK) and Alexa Voice Service (ASK) in the country, allowing developers to work on new skills and devices compatible with the technology.
Among consumer electronics manufacturers that are planning to commercialise Alexa-compatible devices is TV technology provider Netgem, alongside Boulanger, Bose, Harman Kardon, Sonos, Sowee, Ultimate Ears, Archos, Jabra, Haier and others.
Netgem is integrating Alexa within its Soundbox 4K device. Joël Reboul, head of Netgem France said that the box would “enable our customers to use voice to access their favourite music, films and connected services”.
“Whether it’s watching a mainstream television channel, listing to music in several rooms or benefiting from the content on Amazon Prime Video or Prime Music, French customers will soon be able to use the Soundbox 4K to access with ease an array of multimedia offerings,” he said.