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BBC launches “UK’s first” interactive voice news service

Includes specialist pieces, flexible bulletins and archive content

The BBC has launched the UK’s first interactive voice news service, whereby saying ‘Give me BBC News’ to an Alexa-enabled device will prompt audio content from a range of sources.

These include:

  • Specialist pieces: reporting, interviews and features from BBC News reporters
  • Flexible bulletins: bulletins at a time and length that suits the listener
  • The BBC archive: clips and interviews from the BBC’s radio archive

The broadcaster has positioned the service for people seeking more detail on the BBC’s shorter, traditional bulletins, for instance those who want to hear a full speech from the House of Commons that was clipped on TV news.

Mukul Devichand, executive editor, BBC Voice and AI, said: “Smart speakers give us the chance to reimagine what radio would be like if it were invented today, free from its technical limitations.

“By making the news interactive on smart speakers, listeners can jump to the stories they need to hear just before rushing out of the house, or, when they have more time, they can delve into a piece and find out more.

“Delivering the trusted content people expect from the BBC, this new form of audio news comes at an important moment. It will help people navigate through one of the most dramatic news cycles in recent times.”