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. Amazon Echo users can access The Journey, by simply saying, “Alexa, enable The Journey skill.” After it is enabled, listeners simply need to say, “Alexa, play The Journey,” to listen to a live stream of the station.
Michael Agee of The Journey said this about his decision to use XAPP’s Voice Radio:
“Radio at home has declined through the years. We have become more and more the mobile go-to spot for music. Radio was still a medium that most folks continued to use but generally only in their cars. So, I have been thinking about how can I get back into the home. Well, Alexa was a new way to do that.”
Just Fill Out an Online Form to Join Alexa
Voice Radio is designed to simplify the process to get on Alexa so listeners can access your radio station through Amazon Echo and other Alexa-supported devices. This isn’t like the process of building a mobile app. XAPP has been working with voice technology for four years and is the only company to have official recognition from Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Our software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution for quickly deploying voice apps to the different voice assistant platforms was customized with a simple online user registration form for radio stations looking to connect with listeners on Amazon Alexa.
The process only takes about five minutes to add the details. As you can see from The Journey example, you can go from submit to live in less than a week. We know that a lot of independent radio stations are at a disadvantage when new technologies come to market. The XAPP team wanted to make sure every station could access listeners through Alexa and that was inspiration behind Voice Radio.
Grab a Great Invocation Name Like “The Journey”
The other point we have been emphasizing is that Alexa and other voice platforms recognize a user’s request by the voice app name. In the business, it is called an invocation name and they are similar to website URLs. They are unique. However, there is no .NET or .RADIO suffix if you don’t get your name. The fact is that in radio prior to digital distribution, competition for branding has been entirely regional. That meant stations in different parts of the country could have identical branding. For example, it was not a conflict to have five stations call themselves B95, provided they were in different markets. On Alexa, only one of the five B95’s get that moniker as their invocation name. It is first-come, first-served. The followers have to come up with additional phrasing which means there can be misalignment with how the brand is known by listeners.
Mr. Agee added, “We were the first Christian radio station to call ourselves The Journey, but I’m not alone anymore. We knew we needed to be first.”
The Journey secured a great invocation name. It is short and on-brand. The station was not only competing for that name with other radio stations, but also with games, books or other Alexa skills that might want to be known as The Journey. If the name was taken, the station would likely have been successful with the invocation name “88.3 The Journey,” but since the are known as “The Journey” by listeners this was the best possible outcome.
Every station is going to have a different strategy for how they want to make their content available through voice assistants such as Alexa. We built Voice Radio to make the process of getting on Alexa fast and easy when the time is right. Whenever you are ready, just take five minutes and you can be up on Alexa in about a week…or less as we saw with The Journey.