Several media outlets, from Inside Radio to All Access, covered XAPPmedia’s announcement that it had launched over 100 active Alexa skills for radio stations nationwide as of last week. Inside Radio noted that creating a custom Alexa skill, rather than just relying on an aggregator like TuneIn, can provide broadcasters with opportunities to monetize their content on the new platform:
And while these aggregators continue to be an important way for users to access live stations, radio executives say they only provide access to a fraction of a station’s content…In addition, building a skill allows stations to integrate advertisers, such as selling sponsorships to sections of an app or creating cobranded content or channels. XAPP’s system allows radio stations to maintain and update their skills across multiple voice platforms.
RAIN News highlighted how XAPP gives radio stations the ability to control and customize the listening experience:
These custom commands allow quick, direct access to the stations on the Amazon Echo suite of home speakers and other technology using the Alexa system…Its interactive voice platform includes skills for podcasts, on-demand listening, and customized day-parted welcome messages.
In its coverage of the announcement, Voicebot pointed out that recent data shows that new consumer listening habits are being formed by voice-first devices:
But consumers listening habits are rapidly changing again as more people adopt voice-first devices like the Amazon Echo. Pandora recently reported that smart speaker listening for its platform has grown 282% since last year and a recent Edison report found that 69% of smart speaker owners use their device to listen to audio content at least once a week.