Listen up radio broadcasters. Yesterday, XAPPmedia announced it now has 450 voice apps live many of which are custom Alexa skills for radio stations. A new study of almost 3,000 participants from NuVoodoo confirms those stations have made the right decision. For the 15% of respondents who were Echo or Echo Dot owners, FM or AM radio is the second most popular content they listen to, with the most popular being the weather. If we disregard weather as it is not exactly long-form audio content, FM or AM radio is actually the most popular. It even beat out popular music streaming services like Spotify and Pandora. NuVoodoo’s President, Carolyn Gilbert commented, “Broadcast radio has a tremendous advantage, since once we’ve programmed Alexa for the skills we want her to have, we can train listeners how to access those skills using our airwaves.”
Consumers are Forming New Listening Habits
As XAPPmedia CEO Pat Higbie pointed out during a recent The Voicebot Podcast episode, smart speakers are bringing back the radio preset buttons of the past:
Now with voice there are infinite radio buttons, but we’re creatures of habit. When we find something we like to listen to, we want to listen to it over and over again. So, every brand out there, every content creator, their opportunity and their challenge is to make their brand one of those top five voice preset buttons so their listeners come back over and over again.
Gilbert and Higbie raise a good point. New technology creates new habits. For smart speakers, that means new listening habits. When you’re in the car, the easiest way to listen to audio is to simply turn on the radio. The same thing is happening on smart speakers today. Consumers don’t need to download an app or sync an account with their Echo in order to listen to the music they want, all they have to do is ask for their favorite radio station or for a certain type of music through TuneIn. And unlike the Spotify app for Alexa, radio is free.
Millions of consumers who have not owned a radio in years (or ever) are now listening to radio again in the home. New technology is making old school radio popular in the home again. Turns out you can teach old dogs, new tricks. Or in this case, skills.