On the occasion of the first birthday of Amazon Alexa in Italy and Echo devices, Amazon takes stock of the introduction of the voice service in the Bel Paese. Since the launch of 24 October 2018, the response of Italian customers has been exceptional: between January and September 2019 the number of customers actively using Alexa in Italy grew by about 140%.
The passion for Alexa in Italy emerges from the 4 and 5 star ratings with stratospheric averages in thousands and thousands of reviews of the Amazon Echo devices, from the most used functions ever, from the explosive growth of the Skills in Italian, the skills that allow Alexa to run games, read news and much more, skills that we can compare to the apps we use every day on smartphones.
Not only that: the great appreciation of Alexa in Italy and the Echo devices also emerges from small details, such as the unexpected declarations that numerous users make to the voice assistant, including Alexa I love you, counted thousands and thousands of times.
The answer changes because the voice assistant's understanding and skills are constantly expanding and improving. Initially Alexa simply replied "thank you" – declares Michele Butti, Alexa International Director – Not the best response expected of a declaration of love. Now to the love affair of the owner Alexa offers a much more diplomatic answer.
Alexa's success in Italy was even higher than the company's forecasts and expectations. We knew that smart speakers with voice commands were destined to grow – says Butti, the Italian manager in charge of Alexa worldwide, specifying We did not expect such a high response in Italy. The demonstration was visible to anyone: as soon as the cheaper Echo Dot model was launched in our country, it was pre-ordered with delivery only several weeks later, a sign that production orders and Amazon stocks were lower than the actual demand.
Amazon celebrated the first year of Alexa in Italy with an event in Milan dedicated to the media and press in which Macitynet was present with a correspondent: in addition to the announcement of the new Amazon Echo devices arriving in our country, already unveiled at the end of September in the USA, success and growth in the boot were illustrated by Gianmaria Visconti, Alexa Italy Country Manager.
During this year Italy was also confirmed as the fastest country, in a non-English language, in terms of growth in the selection of available Skills. The response from third-party developers has been very positive: at the time of Alexa's arrival in Italy, more than 400 Skills were launched while today they are more than 3,000, recording an increase of over seven times over a year.
The Italian developer community was also among the fastest growing in the world: the developer portal was opened in June 2018 and, while at the time of launch there were already more than 3,000 developers present, today the community has touched share 26,000 members.
During Alexa's first year in Italy, Italian customers talked to the voice assistant 600 million times, and through requests made to Amazon's voice service, they listened to tens of millions of songs, so much so that they could play music for 3,500 years, such as if it were an uninterrupted reproduction from the Minoan age to today.
Meanwhile, Alexa improved in terms of understanding the language with a 42% reduction in the error rate on comprehension errors in just a year. The Amazon Alexa team in fact constantly committed to improving the ease of use of the devices and improving their use by customers.
Italian customers have given Echo devices a rating greater than 4.2 stars; Echo Dot, Amazon's most popular smart speaker, rated 4.6 stars while Echo Show 5 (our review here) has a rating of 4.5. Over 70% of customers rate Echo devices with a five-star rating.
Among the main skills introduced in just one year by Alexa are certainly Giallo Zafferano, the skills of the main news sources (Skytg24, TGCOM24, Rai news, Ansa, Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Calciomercato.com) , all the main radios (Rtl 102.5, RDS, Radio 105, Radio Deejay, Radio Italia, R101, Virgin Radio, Radio24), Skill for films and TVs such as MYmovies.it and SuperGuidaTv. Without forgetting the games Trivial Pursuit, Akinator, Clem Quiz by Clementoni. Other useful Skills turned out to be 3B Weather and Waste Collection. And to play alone or with friends they have achieved popularity the Magic Word Skills, World Capitals, Quiz true or false, Guess who I am.
And among the features introduced in a year, the most significant were: the possibility of creating a voice profile, playing videos with Vevo, the possibility of making video calls with Skype, Audible's ability to listen to audiobooks and podcasts, the Announcements with which to send communications to other compatible devices, delivery notifications of their purchases made on Amazon.it, the availability of Apple Music on Alexa devices, integration with Fire TV Stick for voice control, the possibility of asking Alexa to speak more slowly or faster, depending on your preference.
A year ago Amazon introduced the largest number of devices in Italy for a new country, launching three smart speakers, one of which with a screen, Echo Spot. The response of Italian customers was higher than expected. Within twelve months Amazon then launched Echo Input, Echo Show, Echo Show 5, new Fire TV devices with integrated Alexa, Apple Music on Alexa, new privacy features and more. Just a few days ago Amazon also announced several new devices, including the new Echo Dot with clock, a brand new Echo, Echo Flex and Echo Studio.
A few days after Alexa 's first birthday in Italy, the first deliveries of the new Echo Studio, presented as the Echo device with the best sound ever. It offers five directional speakers for immersive audio, room adaptation technology that automatically detects room acoustics and optimizes audio reproduction and an integrated Zibgbee hub for Smart Home that can be used to control compatible smart home devices.
Echo Studio is the first intelligent speaker to offer an immersive audio experience, using Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio. You can combine one or two Echo Studio devices with certain Fire TV devices for audio playback with multichannel sound and support for Dolby Atmos, Dolby Audio 5.1 and stereo audio formats. Echo Studio available on Amazon.it for 199.99 euros.
Echo Studio joins two new devices to be delivered in Italy starting from last October:
- The new Echo: covered in fabric, with a new design and an even better sound thanks to a 7.6 cm woofer and a greater rear volume, always at 99.99 euros.
- Echo Dot with clock, equipped with a simple and bright LED display, which makes it the perfect complement for a bedside table or shelf. The LED display automatically adjusts to the brightness of the room and you can touch the top of the device to conveniently snooze an alarm. Available at 69.99, now on offer at the discounted price of 54.99 euros.
Echo Flex the most compact and economical of the range, offered at 29.99 euros, with integrated plug to position and use it anywhere. Bring the infinite functions of Alexa to every room, including those for the smart home. It offers an integrated USB port for charging the phone but also for connecting third-party accessories such as night light and motion detection.
All new Amazon Echo with Alexa devices are available from this Amazon page. For all the software and hardware news of the products that use Amazon Alexa, please refer to this section of our website.