Cumulus today announced that it has launched a network of 300 custom Alexa skills. The XAPPmedia team was proud to help Cumulus bring its radio stations and syndicated content to listeners and fans around the U.S. Cumulus leadership understands that voice interactive conversational interfaces will transform how we all access information and content. Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Corporate Marketing, Cumulus and President, Westwood One commented:
“Voice-interactive technology is bringing radio listening back into the home and office, and will enable interactivity with our stations in the connected car…we want to invite our listeners to experience their favorite station with a conversational interface; and finally, at an aggregated network level we will have access to valuable data and insights on this rapidly-evolving audio ecosystem.”
Consumer Interaction Moves to Voice
Cumulus leaders like Suzanne Grimes recognize that there are both tactical and strategic aspects to the voice revolution. Tactically, music listening is regularly the top consumer use case for smart speakers. After more than a decade of radio ownership decline, smart speakers represent a way for radio to be reintroduced into the home. It is perfect timing for audio content producers to engage with consumers on Amazon Alexa devices and shape habits. This is leading directly to an increase in time spent listening (TSL). Music consumption that was going to streaming services or owned music is now returning to radio in the home through smart speaker access and soon through hearable devices (i.e. in-ear devices with voice assistant access).
Another tactical benefit for audio content providers will come in the car. Voice assistant use is starting on smart speakers, being followed quickly by the smartphone and hearables and will soon be in automobile dashboards as well. The in-dash icons available today will be replaced by full voice automation, including access to audio content. This will be both safer and more convenient for drivers.
The strategic element is the shift to voice interfaces for access to content, information, and task execution. Voice delivers the ultimate in convenience making it critical for media companies and brands to offer voice interactive content to provide the convenience consumers crave . In addition, the data from consumer usage will help these companies better tailor their offerings to emerging customer use cases.
Building Voice Interactive Audiences at Scale
XAPPmedia is helping media companies like Cumulus and National Geographic along with consumer brands like Progressive Insurance take advantage of this technology shift. We have built a scalable platform that enables rapid deployment of voice applications like Alexa skills and we are developing tools to measure consumer engagement in this new computing mode. That is why Cumulus said “XAPPmedia was the clear choice to collaborate on this groundbreaking rollout.”
XAPP has launched over 650 voice apps on Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana. We have developed a comprehensive solution for voice app management and consumer voice interactive engagement called One Voice AI™. The SaaS solution manages 300 Alexa skills for Cumulus and some of the most complex voice apps built for consumer brands. To learn more about the Cumulus announcement or having XAPP help you develop a presence on voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, click one of the button below.