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.
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.
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.
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.