Every Bauer radio station will have its own skill on devices using Amazon’s Alexa service by the end of March.
The skill will include additional functionality so users can ask not only to play a station, but to ask who’s on-air and which songs are playing.
69 stations owned by Bauer, including KISS, Magic and Absolute Radio, along with local city stations, will be included, so services such as TuneIn and Radioplayer won’t need to be relied upon.
Some of the extra features include:
“Alexa, play KISS FM”
“Alexa, ask Absolute 80s what’s playing?”
“Alexa, ask Key 103 who is on air?”
“Alexa, next”, which will trigger the next station channel within the brand Skill
“Alexa, previous”, which will open the last station channel played
Bauer says it will allow Advertisers to target Alexa users specifically in addition to the opportunity to run dynamic audio ads for brands on Alexa as part of the Instream offering.
In addition, Bauer also plans to make more on-demand content available on Alexa, such as boxsets and podcasts to the service so users can enjoy the same functionality found on its apps. Popular content available includes 12 Drummers Drumming on Absolute Radio: a show exploring the art of drumming, and Diamonds: a special programme hosted by Mark Goodier that examines Elton John’s impressive fifty year career. In addition, listeners will be able to access on-demand channels like KISS Jams and KISS Grime.
Nadia Holmes, Head of Digital Audio at Bauer Media, said: “The Bauer radio skills for Alexa enhance the listener experience users expect in an increasingly connected home environment, and we anticipate further take-up of voice-activated devices with research from the Radiocentre showing that 77% of Amazon Echo users use their devices to listen to radio. This innovation creates further exciting advertising opportunities around digital audio”.