In Many Ways – Digital And Social Are Becoming The Entry Points To Our Stations

Your audience is likely listening to your station every day.

They rely on you for a variety of reasons. Radio’s most passionate users revealed to Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey 12 we keep them company, we get them in a better mood, and often we help them escape life’s pressures.

But we know there are other platforms trying to do just that for consumers, too.

And they happen to be some of the most awesome mobile time sucks of today’s culture.

However, one of the most recent ‘distractors’ has a huge radio play built in.

Amazon’s Alexa

It has made listening to radio at home so much easier (even if my new puppy is still trying to figure ‘her’ out).

I wanted to briefly explain Alexa to those not sure if this technology is worth their attention.

In many ways, digital and social are becoming entry points to our stations.

So we must be a consumer of technology – use it, live it.

It helps us understand what the audience is experiencing; what they are enjoying when they’re not listening to us.

Or in this case – when they are listening through Alexa.

Alexa works through her ‘skills’ as explained by Amazon: “[Skills are] capabilities that enable customers to interact using voice; examples of Alexa ‘skills’ include the ability to play music, set an alarm and more.”

Like ten thousand more.

Just this week Amazon released how Alexa is gaining ‘skills’ at warped speed:

Basically this means there are about ten thousand things Alexa can do for you.

The way you enable ‘skills’ on your Amazon Dot or Echo is through the Alexa app:

Once Alexa is connected to wifi – you can then start enabling her ‘skills.’

The first ‘skill’ I enabled was “Twitter Reader.”

Alexa’s Twitter ‘skill’ reads Twitter’s trending topics and certain tweets for me.

So in the morning, while running around getting ready – I can hear what people are talking about. It helps me stay on top of what’s going on – if there’s anything I need to share with stations.

And that’s only one example of the already ten thousand ways some will use Alexa when they’re not listening to you.

It’s important to know the ways folks can use Alexa.

But also – it’s smart to start thinking how Alexa can benefit our brands.

Besides making sure stations are accessible when people ask Alexa to play it, the ideas are limitless.

Just released this week is the ‘skill’ to have Alexa play highlights from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

This could easily be a skill radio stations create – offering another version of on demand listening for the Alexa consumer.

While we’re in the infancy stages with Alexa, it’s critical we stay nimble and keep our eye on where the audience is and where they’re going.

Many of our challenges really are not about technology or platforms but in understanding consumer behavior, and how all of us prefer interacting with people and with brands today.

Reach out to me anytime on Twitter  @lorilewis.

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