Broadcasters rightfully view Amazon Alexa as bringing radio back into the home. We see it in the data from more than 800 radio stations we have helped bring to Alexa and the Amazon Echo smart speakers. Millions of radio sessions are being played on Alexa and it is largely incremental time spent listening. Radio is retaking listening in the home after declines brought about by streaming services. But, what about the car?
We all know about Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Each make it easier for listeners to access paid streaming services. Then there is Pandora and Spotify taking up position in the new infotainment systems. Amazon’s Alexa is being adopted by car makers ranging from Ford and Toyota to BMW. Ford says 20 million cars will have Alexa access in 2018 and that is a good start. Those announcements show a trend, but new testing by Amazon may accelerate Alexa availability by introducing an Echo Dot model for cars.
The news comes out of India and it is likely happening in the U.S. as well since all Alexa product releases start first in America. Amazon announced at CES that is was also working on an offline mode for Alexa that would even enable uses outside of areas with internet access or intermittent connectivity. Rumors suggest Echo Dots for the car may be available in the U.S. as early as July 2018. Voice assistant integration will increasingly become an important in-car share of ear strategy for radio. When Alexa arrives in cars, are you ready?
What it Means for Radio
The good news is that a custom Alexa skill that today brings radio to a smart speaker in the home will do the same for Alexa in the car, whether it’s part of an in-dash system or an add-on smart speaker for the car. There are already over 1,000 radio stations with custom Alexa skills. As Alexa-enabled listening expands into cars, it will be even more important that radio stations establish a voice-accessible presence tied to their unique brand names. Keep in mind that Pandora and Spotify are also available to Alexa users, so radio needs to be just as accessible.
Learn how you can reach your listeners with a custom Amazon Alexa skill and how radio stations are using voice to increase time spent listening by attending a webinar one week from today.
Webinar: How Radio Can Succeed on Alexa
Date: Tuesday, May 1st
Time: 1:00 – 1:30 pm EDT