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Alexa, play jazz!

The content delivery network and streaming media provider is showcasing a new service that offers custom Alexa ‘skills’ creation for broadcasters using any streaming host or CDN.

Amazon’s Alexa voice service lets consumers use spoken commands to trigger actions on devices such as Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Tap smart home speakers.

Much like adding functionality to smartphones by installing apps, StreamGuys’ custom Alexa skills add capabilities to Alexa-enabled devices that allow listeners to access live and on-demand content on radio stations through intuitive voice instructions.

Alexa skills allow broadcasters to choose the words that users speak to launch the station’s programming, as well as defining the interactive experience surrounding their content. In addition to live streams, the skills can provide verbal access to podcasts and on-demand archives, with easy voice navigation between episodes.

Listeners can access their favourite station’s voice-prompted menu by saying instructions like “Alexa, open WWOZ”, or go directly to desired content with commands such as “Alexa, tell WWOZ to play traditional jazz”.

Like web domain names, Alexa invocation names – the words users speak to open a custom skill – must be unique, making it important for broadcasters to act swiftly to secure their preferred Alexa identity.

Jonathan Speaker, COO, StreamGuys, said: “It can be hard for users to find a station if it’s listed only by call letters, or if multiple stations use the same marketing brand.

By affordably offering custom Alexa skills creation, we’re enabling them to quickly establish their presence on this important platform.”