XAPPmedia today announced Voice Cast for Podcasts, a self-service solution for podcasters looking to quickly launch a custom Amazon Alexa skill. Voice Cast for Podcasts is built on XAPP’s One Voice AI SaaS platform that hosts and operates interactive voice apps for voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana.
Amazon Alexa users can access the Winter Olympics content by saying, “Alexa, open Westwood One Sports.” They will then be offered the opportunity to listen live if a live broadcast is underway, hear the most recent live broadcast on demand, or listen to summary highlights from the day. Westwood One collaborated with XAPPmedia to launch the Westwood One Alexa skill in time for the Olympic Games opening ceremonies on February 9th.
Voice assistants are destined to become a big part of consumers’ lives and represent both a big opportunity and a threat for brands. Why? Purchases that occur today through physical stores, websites and apps will materially shift to voice commerce over the next three years. Brands can take advantage of these changing consumer preferences or cede a rapidly growing sales channel entirely to their competitors.
It is often hard to see how new platforms and channels will shape consumer behavior while they are still in the rapid growth phase. Voice looks small compared to the web today the same way the web looked small in 1997-1998 compared to the newspaper business. New communication channels require scale to have an impact, but as they scale brands can’t afford to be absent. Why? Because their competitors are present and soaking up all of the consumer attention.
You may have been following the news from CES this week. If you have, then you know that Toyota and Lexus are adding Alexa access in 2018. The number one manufacturer of car infotainment systems, Panasonic, is also adding Alexa access. Garmin is doing the same thing. Both companies will introduce Alexa to a lot of car models.
The biggest technology story of 2017 was clearly the rapid rise in smart speaker adoption and proliferation of voice assistant access into everyday appliances. XAPP quickly recognized the importance of this shift in consumer technology adoption for media organizations and brands. In 2016, we began optimizing our interactive voice platform, One Voice AI, to enable companies to quickly establish a presence on Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana individually and simultaneously.
2017 was a big year for voice assistants. It was also a big year for XAPPmedia. After launching just three voice apps in 2016, XAPPmedia was tapped to develop more than 650 in 2017. Here are the top seven blogs from this tremendous year. We look forward to seeing what new exciting developments 2018 has in store for both voice assistants and XAPPmedia.
Amazon Alexa presents an enormous opportunity for brands to connect directly with consumers in their homes. But creating an engaging voice-first experience also has its challenges. Ricki Harris of WIRED discusses this topic in a new article featuring XAPPmedia CEO Pat Higbie and other voice industry leaders’ opinions on why brands should embrace a screenless future.