VoiceLabs today announced an advertising monetization program for Amazon Echo. XAPPmedia pioneered voice interactive ad monetization for radio on mobile and is now working with VoiceLabs to bring that same value to radio stations with Alexa skills.
There are many reasons for radio stations to develop Alexa skills for Amazon Echo. These include the Gartner forecast that 75% of US households will have a smart speaker in 2020. Listeners are moving to Amazon Echo quickly and radio stations need a presence on these devices. Another reason is to claim your name on Alexa because the voice assistant requires every skill have a unique name. You can’t have four stations all answering to the name B95.
Can You Capture Ad Revenue on Amazon Echo? Yes.
The naming issue is the most frequently asked question we hear today. The second most popular question relates to monetization. A few weeks ago, Amazon clarified its advertising policy and in particular how it relates to radio. Amazon has recognized XAPP as a leading developer for the Alexa voice assistant. The relationship with Amazon and VoiceLabs has led directly to XAPP being the first radio partner to provide access to Amazon Echo as a monetization channel.
“Federated Media’s stations want to connect with our listeners through whatever is most convenient for them. The Amazon Echo is now that choice in the home and in the future Alexa skills will be accessible in the car, on smartphones and wherever listeners happen to be. We are excited about the new platform, but we also know that great radio programming requires new revenue streams. This advertising program with VoiceLabs and XAPPmedia is a perfect fit for delivering a great user experience on Alexa while delivering revenue for the stations,” said James Derby, Chief Strategy Officer and Director of Programming, Federated Media.
Radio Stations Working with XAPP Have the Monetization Choice
XAPP is committed to providing radio stations with a choice. They can offer their listeners an ad-free experience or they can take advantage of XAPP Ads on Alexa and develop a new source of revenue. This is not a concept. The ad solution is in production today.
The first advertisers in the program are Wendy’s, ESPN and Progressive Insurance. Progressive is running two different ads for Federated Media’s B100 and K105 radio stations. More advertisers will start soon across these stations and others. XAPP launched custom Alexa skills for both Federated stations earlier this year. You can see a short video demonstration of the B100 skill in the video below.
This is About Controlling the User Experience and Monetization
At an NAB roundtable last month, Federated Media’s James Derby emphasized two reasons why the company is bringing a dozen stations to the Amazon Echo: control the user experience and control the monetization. Federated wants to showcase their station talent and be differentiated from the other 100,000 radio stations that have Amazon Alexa simulcasts delivered through TuneIn. To TuneIn, his station signals are just a commodity. With custom Alexa skills, Federated can really dial in a unique customer experience.
The other motivation was monetization. Everyone in radio learned a lesson during the mobile era. The streaming services and radio aggregators held all of the cards and benefited disproportionately by building their own audiences, often on the backs of popular radio broadcasts. This time around, Federated wanted to exercise its own audience and monetization options.
Would You Like Alexa Monetization from Day One?
XAPP is helping scores of radio stations develop custom Amazon Alexa skills, and that now includes the ability to monetize those skills with XAPP Ads. If you would like to learn more about Alexa ad revenue options or building a custom Alexa skill for your station, please click the button below. We look forward to hearing from you.