Juniper Research says smart speakers will be installed in over 70 million households by 2022, reaching 55% of all homes with total installed devices exceeding 175 million. Over 30 million smart speakers sold in Q2 of 2019 alone.
Amazon Alexa is dominating the smart-speaker space and with that domination, some really great things are happening for radio. People are once again listening to radio in the home– from the kitchen while making dinner to the bedroom and bathroom while getting ready for bed and work. In fact, some research indicates the Alexa Echo and Dot owners are spending as much as 4 additional hours per week listening to to the radio through their speakers– 16 quarter hours that were not there before! Much of this listening happens after the traditional 6a-6p window, breathing new life into evening and weekend radio.
Many broadcasters have been telling their audience they can listen simply by saying “Alexa, play WXYZ” and it may in fact work via TuneIn or iHeart, but it may not work for long! That’s because Amazon Alexa has skills, like apps for your smartphone, and those skills can have unique names, like K-Hits, The River, Sunny and other common radio names. Now, imagine your station is called “Sunny 108” and that works on Alexa today. What happens if tomorrow another station in another state or country creates a custom skill with your station name? Now when your audience says “Alexa, play Sunny 108” it will start THEIR stream. That’s because Alexa prioritizes custom skill names before general station names inside TuneIn or iHeart sources. You need to reserve your brand name before it’s too late!
Beyond that, a custom skill allows you to intro your stream however you like. You can have your DJ’s do the intro, or play a sponsor pre-roll to monetize the skill, or promote a major contest or event. You can also create additional skills for each show and allow your listeners to say “Alexa, play the Bob & Todd Podcast” or “play the Sunny 108 podcast” etc. The options are limitless but you need to reserve your brand name before someone else takes it. The only way to protect your brand is to publish an app in the skill store.
By the end of 2019, one in every 15 Americans will own a smart speaker, led by Alexa.
Read the links in this story for more information on the incredible power of Alexa Skills, then reserve yours using the form below. We’ll respond within one business day and get started on your skill. You can have a basic streaming or podcast skill for just $99 one-time cost, plus a small $20/mo hosting and code maintenance fee.