Samuel L. Jackson Takes Over For Amazon’s Alexa

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Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson is the first celebrity to officially lend his voice to Amazon for use with its Alexa voice assistant products. Actor Samuel L. Jackson poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film ‘Captain Marvel’, in London, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. (Photo by Vianney Le CaerInvisionAP)
  • Samuel L. Jackson is the first celebrity to officially lend his voice to Amazon
  • Since 2014, Amazon has sold more than 100M devices that come with Alexa

Move over Alexa, Amazon wants actor Samuel L. Jackson to be responding to listeners’ commands. He’s the first celebrity to officially lend his iconic voice to the platform. In the deeply competitive smart voice assistant race, will this move empower more Black people to start using this feature?

Why This Matters: We live in a world where popular media tends to depict Black men as threatening, and or aggressive. Since Amazon announced its first Echo speaker in 2014, shoppers have purchased more than 100 million devices that come with Alexa. Providing exposure to a Black male voice, who actively provides intelligent information, could have a positive impact on the 46 percent of Americans using voice assistants. Don’t worry folks there will be both an explicit version and a clean version of Jackson as an assistant.

Providing exposure to a Black male voice, who actively provides intelligent information, could have a positive impact on the 46 percent of Americans using voice assistants.

Grammy Award-winner John Legend joined Google (GOOG -1.31 percent) as one of its voice assistants last year. This legendary move made him the first male and Black voice assistant in an industry that’s overwhelmingly female and white. 

Amazon owned 62 percent of the smart speaker market share in 2017. Top competitor Google is focused on lowering its price tiers and market research firm Statista predicts the company will own 34 percent of the market, thus decreasing Amazon’s stake by 2020. Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL -0.49 percent) HomePod and Microsoft’s (MSFT -1.30 percent) Cortana along with other smart assistants make up the remaining 13 percent.

What’s Next: The Alexa “skill” will cost 99 cents as an introductory offer. After the introductory period, the price will be $4.99. You will soon be able to have Alexa ask Jackson “what’s the weather” or to “play some music”  when the feature launches later this year!

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