It’s the wave of the future. Devices such as Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home are all the craze these days. Give the device a command, such as asking for the local weather or ordering a pizza or play your favorite music and the device talks back to you and executes your command.
Federated Media, always on the cutting edge, understands how important it is for its radio stations to be on these popular devices and has started to add its stations to these devices so listeners have easy access to their stations if they own one of these devices. And unless we missed something along the way, we believe Federated Media’s B100 in South Bend is the first radio station to jump onto the Amazon Echo.
All listeners have to do is say “Alexa, enable B100” and they will hear listening choices from the radio station, including a live stream, podcasts or custom channels from B100. We spoke to Federated Media’s Chief Strategy Officer James Derby about why his company decided it was important to engage with this new technology.
Radio Ink: Why do you believe it’s important to be on the device?
Derby: We really believe you’re going to see more and of these voice recognition devices in homes, at work and in the automobile and we want to be accessible on the devices people use today. I’m personally excited because as a long time radio lover it allows us an opportunity to get radio back into the kitchens and living rooms of our listeners.
Radio Ink: What will listeners hear?
Derby: All of the above, plus our on-air jocks help guide listeners of Alexa through our menu of offerings.
Radio Ink: How easy is it for listeners to get your station on the device?
Derby: Very easy! Just say “Alexa I want B100”
Radio Ink: Have you gotten any feedback from listeners yet?
Derby: Not yet, we just went live thanks to Amazon’s approval 2 days ago.
Radio Ink: Are you planning to roll this out to other stations in the company?
Derby: Yes, we’re starting with our music stations and then our news/talk and sports stations. Our country station in ft Wayne, K105 is set to go live next.
Radio Ink: Are you promoting this on the air as well? What about Google Play?
Derby: Yes we are rolling out promotion next week on-air, and across all station social media and digital platforms. We also plan to have a video demo that listeners can watch to see how it works. Our plan is to be available on Google home and other voice recognition devices.