Radio & Alexa – the best of friends

Everyone has been talking about Alexa and the Amazon Echo recently, and there is no denying that home assistants are on a lot of people’s Christmas lists. It is thought that voice-controlled smart devices will soon become mainstream technology, with household penetration potentially exceeding 40% by early next year.

The primary reason for purchasing home assistants like the Alexa or Google Home is greater access to audio entertainment. Findings from Getting Vocal research, which was jointly funded by Radioplayer, Radiocentre and Global shows that 72% of all audio entertainment time on Echo is spent listening to radio.

According to RAJAR MIDAS, Echo users tune in to over 3 million hours of live radio every week through the screen-less device, which means that radio advertising is the most natural route for brands to communicate via Echo.

Over half of daily Echo users recall hearing advertising on the device, with radio cited as the main – and most natural source, ahead of other audio services. This highlights radio’s resilience – it is a medium that is reinforced by its adaptability to new technologies, helping to keep it relevant for both listeners and advertisers.

Currently Echo users can listen to hundreds of radio stations in the UK and abroad thanks to the device’s built in TuneIn app as well as the UK RadioPlayer ‘skill’. Last week, Jazz FM announced its own skill, which allows Jazz FM listeners to play the station’s output without going through TuneIn or RadioPlayer. The latest AI technology provides direct access to personalised greetings from the presenters and over time the Alexa skill will enable listeners to explore all of Jazz FM’s specialist programmes and catch up with earlier programmes by a voice command. Users can access the new Alexa skill by enabling it in their Alexa app or by saying “Alexa – enable Jazz FM skill.”


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