XAPP has spent a lot of time working with Radio for mobile voice interactive advertising over the past four years. Our team also devoted a lot of 2016-17 to develop Amazon Alexa skills for brands and media companies that wanted presence on Amazon Echo. We recently launched a program designed specifically to help radio stations build Alexa skills and Federated Media’s B100 became the first radio station with a custom Alexa skill. You can see a video demo here.
Today, XAPP published a new report highlighting 10 Best Practices for Putting Radio on Amazon Echo. The first four include:
- Claim Your Brand – connect directly with listeners
- Show Your Personality – delivering a Voice PersonaTM
- Facilitate Content Discovery – the convenience of audio scanning
- Deliver a Great User Experience – for new and repeat users
…..(download report to see detailed explanations of all 10 best practices)
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The Origin of Best Practices for Radio on Amazon Echo
Our engineering team complied this top 10 list based on our in-depth experience working directly with the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant teams and launching some of the best reviewed voice applications on both platforms. XAPP is one of only five companies to be recognized by both companies for our expertise in building interactive voice applications. We wanted to share what we have learned with the radio community.
Voice Interactive Platforms Like Echo Are Different from Mobile
The other reason we thought the report would be helpful is to clear up some common misunderstandings. For example, building a skill for Amazon Echo is very different from building a mobile app. We know from experience. We have done a lot of both. The voice-first user experience design, the conversational interaction flow that lacks a visual interface, the need to use Amazon Alexa’s AudioPlayer features, even how you maintain skills in production and other nuances are all discussed.
In addition, we tackle the question of why radio stations shouldn’t be satisfied with simply being one of 100,000 stations on TuneIn. Spoiler alert. This model makes it hard for your listeners to find you. We discuss the details on how Alexa skills overcome this barrier and are the equivalent of radio buttons for Amazon Echo.
Why Amazon Echo Matters for Radio Now
Gartner recently conducted an analysis that suggest devices like the Amazon Echo will be in 75% of U.S. households by 2020. That’s up from just 7% in 2016 according to Edison Research. Voicebot went on to calculate that this forecast means 94 million households with 258 million people will be using voice assistants like Echo in their home within four years. That represents big audience reach.
These devices are essentially smart speakers optimized for voice interaction and audio content playback. This is an opportunity to bring radio back into the home and make it central to consumer listening habits again. The bonus is that Alexa skills for Echo will also be accessible in tens of millions of cars by the end of 2017.
The implication is clear. Radio stations should be thinking about establishing a presence on Amazon Echo right now while consumers are forming their listening habits on these devices. The 10 Best Practices report will help you quickly understand what is important when building an Alexa skill for Amazon Echo to deliver a great user experience for your listeners.
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Also, if you are attending NAB this year, we are hosting a roundtable in the Digital Strategies Exchange for Radio on Monday April 24th at 2:05 pm at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Room N257. I 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.
NAB Podcast Interviews XAPP CEO Pat Higbie on the Future of Interactive Voice Radio
3 Reasons Why Radio Stations Should Launch Alexa Skills Now
RAIN News: XAPPmedia’s B100 Radio Skill is “Startling in Scope and Implication”