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NAB Podcast Interviews XAPP CEO Pat Higbie on the Future of Interactive Voice Radio

XAPPmedia CEO Pat Higbie was honored to be a guest on the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Podcast earlier this week. Higbie joined host Josh Miely to demo the new Amazon Alexa skill that XAPP developed for Federated Media’s B100 radio station in Indiana. Miely calls it a “game changing technological opportunity” for radio broadcasters. Throughout the episode, Higbie discusses the many benefits of creating an interactive voice radio experience for smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home. You can listen to the entire podcast by clicking below.



Higbie points out three specific advantages for radio that voice assistants have ushered into:

Tailor made for radio: each Amazon Echo and Google Home represent smart speakers designed to listen to users and deliver audio content. No one has more audio content than radio. And, these platforms are already migrating to the car as well creating the potential for a seamless radio experience through a listener’s day.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to bring radio back into the home. But this is going to be much more disruptive than that. This technology is going to affect in-car listening as well as on-the-go listening…It just makes it so much easier to get exactly the content you want, any time you want. That convenience is what’s so special about voice.”

An intimate listening experience: Radio can spotlight its on-air personalities and provide another way for listeners to engage with the people they already know and trust. For B100, the welcome voice changes by day-part and matches the personality that is currently on air.

“It’s really a conversational experience. We think of it as being in the same room with the DJ – the [radio station’s] DJ is letting you know what’s available. That brings the intimacy of radio into this experience.”

New opportunities to engage audiences: Broadcasters can provide a live simulcast, but they can also provide personalized listening and access to on-demand content such as station podcasts or day-part segments that fans can listen to when convenient for them. B100 offers listeners the option to hear southern rock, beach music or other genres so they can get that content from the radio station instead of from streaming services. It is an entirely new way to deliver audio content that takes the best of radio and on-demand streaming, but puts the listener relationship back in the hands of broadcasters.

“The listener can have the opportunity to listen live, browse music or discover a podcast…This is a country music station but they give you the ability to do things that people have actually used streaming services for. So, what’s really happening here is its democratizing listener access to content. And stations are in a great position now to take advantage of this paradigm shift to voice… Mobile was hard on stations. Voice is an opportunity for radio stations to level the playing field and bring a fantastic user experience to the table.”

To listen to the full podcast, click the player above or listen to it on the NAB site here. If you are interested in getting your own radio station on Amazon Alexa, click the button below.

[su_button style=”flat” size=”6″ background=”#D73C90″ radius=”0″ url=”/request-alexa-skill-radio/”]Get My Station on Alexa[/su_button]

Catch XAPP, Amazon and Federated Media at NAB

NAB also invited XAPP, Amazon and Federated media to present on Monday April 24th at 2:05 pm at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Room N257. Pat Higbie will represent XAPP along with Jeff Gibb, Manager, Business Development, Amazon Alexa and James Derby, Chief Strategy Officer/Dir. of Programming, Federated Media. Session details can be found here.

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