The beta launch of a new feature on iHeartRadio’s Alexa skill allowing listeners to send requests and dedications through the smart speaker may be just the beginning of interactivity for audio producers. Amazon has announced it has beta-launched new interactive media skill components for Alexa developers that will shorten the time it takes for radio, podcast and music providers to launch interactive experiences on Alexa. Amazon says it has also launched a developer preview of an interactive song request, dedication, voice-driven poll and contesting feature. Amazon is now allowing broadcasters to apply to take part in the preview (See that HERE).
The first to come to market is from iHeartMedia which has just announced it is rolling out the two-way feature in four cities. Using an Alexa-enabled device, listeners will be able to simply use their voice to seamlessly request songs and even dedicate them to family and friends. Alexa will then send the request to the station, where radio personalities can queue them up for on-air playback.
“This is a direct line to allow our audience to talk back, to share their thoughts and help influence what you hear on the radio,” iHeartRadio Chief Product Officer Chris Williams said in a video explaining the new feature.
iHeartRadio’s new request a song feature for Alexa rolled out Friday on select stations, including CHR “106.1 Kiss FM” KHKS Dallas, CHR “104.7 Kiss FM” KZZP Phoenix, CHR “XL-106.7” WXXL Orlando, and country WCOS Columbia, SC (97.5). The company says it plans to add more stations nationwide shortly.