This week, XAPP hosted a webinar on the topic of how radio can succeed on Alexa. Inside Radio listened in and highlighted a few key points from the 30-minute session in a recent article this week. One of the main takeaways was that while voice assistants and smart speakers have brought radio back into the home, they will also be coming to the automobile faster than you think.
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.
XAPP has helped launch over 800 Amazon Alexa radio skills over the past 12 months. These launches range from big radio groups like Cumulus and Scripps to regional groups and single stations like Radio Dubuque and The Journey. On May 1st, XAPP will hold our first webinar discussing what we learned launching 800 radio stations on Alexa.
NPR revealed in an interview with MediaPost that its streaming listening through Amazon Alexa devices grew 242% between November and February. Alexa now accounts for 13.3% of all NPR’s live streaming, up from just 3.9% in late 2017. When listening on any device triples over a 3-4 month period, every general manager and program director is going to take note.
XAPPmedia CEO Pat Higbie was recently the featured guest on The Voicebot Podcast with Bret Kinsella. During the episode, the pair discuss how voice technology has throughout Higbie’s decade long career in the field, from the introduction of Siri to the launch of Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa.
XAPP announced Voice Radio™ just last Wednesday as a fast and affordable way for radio stations to get their live stream on Amazon Alexa. Within a couple of hours we had our first customer go through the process. The Christian radio station 88.3 The Journey became the first to use Voice Radio after our public release and four days later was live on Alexa.
A recent post in Digiday discusses Amazon’s approach for monetizing Alexa and its implications for publishers. The article cites how both Amazon and publishers are trying to figure out to a monetization strategy for the new audio channel.
XAPPmedia pioneered voice interactive ad monetization for radio on mobile and is now working with VoiceLabs to bring that same value to radio stations with Alexa skills. Radio stations can offer their listeners an ad-free experience or they can take advantage of XAPP Ads on Alexa and develop a new source of revenue.
I was joined by Jeff Gibb of Amazon and James Derby from Federated Media for a roundtable discussion on Voice Interactive Radio at the NAB show last week. The most common question was about how to get Alexa, the voice assistant on Amazon Echo, to recognize a station name.