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Native Voice and iHeartMedia Announce Hands-Free Access To Podcast, Radio and Music Content.

Native Voice, an on-demand voice assistant library that enables users to communicate directly by voice with their favorite brands, is expanding its library of content under a just-announced collaboration with iHeartMedia. The partnership will give Native Voice users access to iHeart’s library of podcasts, live radio streams, and on-demand music.

Starting early next year, anyone with a Skull-iQ enabled Skullcandy device (Grind, Grind Fuel, Push Active) can simply say “Hey iHeart” for immediate, hands-free access to iHeartRadio music and podcast content. Over time, users will also be able to select music by mood or genre and play the podcasts they know and love.

“Whether it be accessing live and local radio stations or the most listened-to library of podcasts, offering our users an exceptional experience is our top priority,” said John Vermeer, Executive VP of Digital Distribution and Platform Partnerships for iHeartMedia. “Native Voice is a pioneer in this space, delivering truly hands-free listening and we can’t wait to offer yet another way to meet listeners where they are with the services they expect,” he said in the joint announcement.

Native Voice’s iHeartMedia integration on Skull-iQ enabled Skullcandy devices will be rolled out in early first quarter 2023. And any existing user of Skullcandy earbuds that are Skull-iQ enabled will be able to add “Hey iHeart” to their earbuds for an instant update, at no cost.

It is the latest growth move by Native Voice. In July, the company announced that their technology will be deployed on Skullcandy devices for the first time, providing hands-free access to multiple branded voice assistants, including Alexa. As a result, Push Active and the Grind Series will become the first Skullcandy devices to feature both Alexa and the Skullcandy assistant simultaneously, and now, iHeartRadio.

“We are thrilled to partner with iHeartMedia to launch a branded voice experience where users will be able to ask for an artist, genre, radio station and location, or podcasts, without having to touch their phone,” said Katie McMahon, President and COO at Native Voice. “It’s an exciting time for voice recognition, where end users get exactly what they're looking for while saving time and reducing friction. And most importantly, users don’t have to pull out their phone to touch, type or swipe, minimizing the time-suck that’s so common with mobile phones.”

Founded in 2020 by John Goscha, Native Voice is similar to voice assistants like Alexa and Siri.

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