Alexa skills and Google Assistant Actions are growing like weeds. Now that more than 50 million consumers in the U.S. have access to smart speakers, 100 million worldwide are expected to use the devices by year end and about 1.5 billion devices have access to a voice assistant through smartphones and PCs, everyone wants access to the large and growing audience. That includes some of the world’s largest brands and media companies.
A new Google Assistant feature was announced Friday called Media Response API. XAPP has been working with a beta version of the Media Response API for several months during a developer review period. We are happy to say that three XAPP podcast customers are officially live on Google Assistant and Google Home today using the new capabilities.
Many podcasters are surprised when their podcast shows up on Alexa, usually through a TuneIn integration. This is great until someone actually tries to listen - it is a totally broken user experience. That is what we set out to address with Voice Cast for Podcasters.
We first introduced XAPPmedia a year ago this month and our first product, XAPP Ads, was designed to help Internet radio and audio streaming services increase the value of their advertising inventory. Over the past year, we have been busy. We worked with our customers, partners, advertisers and ad agencies. Many saw the bigger picture behind interactive audio, including opportunities beyond advertising.
Many people have asked us whether they could get a demo app to better understand the user experience and show colleagues what the XAPP Ad format enables. Previously, we only made this available to integration partners, but now anyone can download the XAPP Ad demo app for their iPhone.
We have received a lot of interest in our latest product, XAPP Content Discovery. Our first product, Interactive Audio Ads addressed the challenge of mobile audio monetization straight on. Interactive Audio Content Discoveries leverage the platform even further. Instead of advertisers generating engagement for their offers, publishers can use the platform to promote their audio content libraries.
Recently, we announced custom phrases as a new XAPP Ads feature. This week we are announcing a new and even more powerful feature: custom actions. Whereas custom phrases allow you to designate the phrase uttered by consumers, custom actions allow you to invent new consumer engagement techniques for conversion.
We've had many inbound requests from audio publishers, advertisers and agencies lately at XAPP, so we can tell the idea of interactive audio advertising driven by voice engagement has inspired many people’s creative thinking. That creativity has also led to requests for new features. One of the simplest and most interesting is the ability to designate custom phrases.