Smart speakers continue their growth among core radio listeners – albeit without the momentum we saw just a few short years ago.
Techsurvey 2021 clocked smart speaker ownership at 35%. But while the “cume” of smart speakers appears to be leveling off, the number of these devices in people's homes and offices has ramped up. Today, more than six in ten of those who own a smart speaker have more than one.
Clearly, consumers are getting more and more comfortable with smart speakers. But the interactive technology seems to be slowing down. “Skills” development was at a fever pitch just five years ago, as brands were looking to make Alexa and “Hey, Google” more interactive.
Today, not so much. But iHeartMedia is trying to change that. Earlier in the week, they beta-launched an all-request feature on Amazon Alexa devices in four of their markets. The concept is that you can now use Alexa's voice AI to request a song or make an old school dedication. Alexa forwards them to participating stations where programmers/personalities take it from there.
iHeart's Chris Williams walks us through how this works in this less-than-one-minute audio:
But if iHeart and Amazon are dedicated to truly replicating the “DJ experience,” Alexa will need to respond to requests realistically. In order to match the consumer's interactions with radio station request lines all these years, Alexa's AI should be able to easily predict what the actual live DJ (if there is one) might say.
I offer up these representative responses that would make Alexa sound very real:
“I'll try to get that on for you.”
“Coming right up.”
“Sorry, I just played that.”
Or my personal favorite:
“I'd love to play that for you, but our lame PD (or consultant) won't let us.”
I'm thinking many of you are thinking up your own ARRs – Alexa Request Responses.
Technology is at its best when it simulates how we operate in real life.
Alexa, see you in the Jock Lounge.
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