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Friday Poll: Smart Speakers - Are You Using Them?

    • 1036 posts
    September 7, 2017 8:21 PM PDT

     "Hi, Alexa. Let's have some fun."


    Smart speakers were a hot topic in Austin the past week. Industry insider Tom Taylor said in his September 6th newsletter: "Radio better make friends with Alexa."

    What does it mean for AM/FM radio? That’s a question that kept surfacing at Tuesday’s RAIN Summit in Austin. Larry Rosin says he’s been doing research in the field for nearly 30 years and “rarely have I seen excitement” like there is now for smart speakers. He predicts that soon “We will look back to the days when we typed” computer commands – because (as the title of Edison’s project for Pandora says), “Voice is the new touch.” True, music is the thing owners typically want from their new Amazon Echo or Google Home device. And the more devices they have, the more that’s true. But an Echo is not an AM/FM radio receiver. Edison says 57% of smart speaker owners have a paid subscription to an Internet audio service, and 28% said getting an Echo-like device led them to pay for a service. There’s plenty of talk about getting streaming AM/FM stations available via smart-speaker using Alexa “Skills.”

    I'm not yet using Google's Home or Amazon's Echo. (Heck, I rarely talk to Siri, despite carrying two iPhones.) But evidently many folks are getting on this bandwagon. What about you?

    Do you own one or more smart speakers? How do you use it? What do you like/dislike about the technology? What are your thoughts on how traditional radio may be affected?

    Look forward to reading your thoughts below.

    This post was edited by Rod Schwartz at September 7, 2017 10:48 PM PDT
    • 51 posts
    September 8, 2017 7:28 AM PDT

    This could be huge.

    Periodically, we ask Alexa for things like weather forecasts, and give her simple questions we might otherwise pop into a Google search. (She often says, "I'm afraid I don't know how to help you with that." She's not too bright yet.) Primarily, we do most of our radio listening at home via Amazon Echo, usually streaming from TuneIn.

    If radio follows in the footsteps of cable, it could be big. We have a client in NH who has just started advertising on cable TV to his immediate region--and Comcast controls the pre-roll advertising in that region. Using your iPad and a mobile network to view a story on CNN? Doesn't matter how you got to CNN, Comcast serves you our client's 30-second commercial, and you can't skip it. If TuneIn (and any other streaming radio services) can apply this technology, think of the possibilities.

    It's also going to require that the people creating radio advertising get a handle on how to be engaging and drive response. 

    • 1 posts
    September 8, 2017 8:03 AM PDT

    From the personal side I have a Google Home device and love it.  We are learning how to use it more each day.  We of course do the common things such as checking the weather, but we also put things on our shopping list.  I can also check my calendar to see what events I have coming up the next day. We have also started listening to our radio stations through it (great sound quality by the way).  From the radio station side we are now running promos using the actual audio from Alexa and Google in the promos as we request they play a station and then they reply as they bring that station up.  We are seeing what I think can be a huge resurgence for in home listening through these devices.  But we must get out in front of the other services such as Pandora, Spotify, and others.  We have the much bigger voice and reach so we should be able to take advantage of this opportunity.

    This post was edited by John Rodriguez at September 8, 2017 8:04 AM PDT
    • 55 posts
    September 8, 2017 4:23 PM PDT

    We've got two Amazon Echos, and may be getting a third. Amazon keeps making it more useful, and it's sucked us in. I can see it being a threat to local radio because it's incredibly easy to listen to any radio station you want, from anywhere in the world. Five minutes ago I said "Alexa, play BBC Radio 2". If I get bored with that, I'll say, "Alexa, play KEXP Radio", or "Alexa, play The Loft from Serius XM", or "Alexa, play some Beat Farmers from Spotify."

    All of these things were available on my phone and my laptop, but with the Echo it's much, much easier to access it. Can I listen to my local Portland stations? Sure I can. But I don't have to. For me in 2017, "radio" is any station, anywhere. 

    • 1251 posts
    September 9, 2017 5:41 PM PDT

    From Robert E. Lee on the RSC Facebook page: "Yes, we do own a couple of the speakers. We are in the process of getting our stations onto the Alexa 'platform'...because, in this digital era, we have no choice. We especially like that Alexa and other 'speakers' bring radio listening back inside, at home and at the office, reversing that decline in indoors locational listening. That will absolutely benefit radio's numbers! "

    This post was edited by Rebecca Hunt at September 9, 2017 5:41 PM PDT