Futuri helps radio stations align with Alexa

Futuri Media is a global leader in audience engagement technology and tools to help broadcasters and publishers drive audience and revenue growth. Futuri is also one the latest radio-related companies to focus attention on Alexa. Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is quickly becoming the radio industry’s most popular speaker. Industry executives are investing resources into integrating Alexa and Google Home to deliver radio into homes and offices alike through their devices. Futuri is an audio technology provider that is offering to build custom Aleca commands, or skills for radio stations.

The result being that it allows users to access and explore station content, with new listening and revenue opportunities down the road. A new promotional video for clients by Futuri of the Amazon’s trio of Alexa devices states it as being, “One of the greatest opportunities to drive audience growth and time spent with your station.”

Alexa integration is being developed for several of Bonneville Media’s stations, which include news/talkers KIRO-FM Seattle and KSL-FM Salt Lake City. XAPPmedia, an audio technology company, just launched a custom skill with Federated Media for its country “B100” WBYT South Bend, IN. The skill allows users to ask for the station by name and then interact with its live-stream and on-demand content, and planes call for CAPP to build custom skills for all of Federated’s music stations.

Aggregators such as TuneIn or iHeartMedia have made radio stations available on Alexa and Google Home. However, those are straight simulcasts of a station’s live stream, much like a user would get through a mobile app or desktop site. Customizable skills that are developed, which users have to enable on the Alexa app or website, can have radio stations connects directly with their listeners, spotlight their own content and develop sponsor opportunities.

For its clients, Futuri says its skills mean an Alexa user could ask to hear a station’s music, local news or podcasts. A moneymaking opportunity can be created through a command for a local forecast, the command could then be presented by a local business as a sponsor. Futuri is able to make a station’s special content such as morning show benchmarks, contests and promotions voice-enabled on Alexa. It can act as an additional revenue opportunity as the company notes, such as providing information on local eateries and bars along with giving listeners access to deals.

“Amazon Alexa-enabled devices have exploded in popularity this year. Seeing the potential audience and revenue lift associated with this rapidly expanding audio distribution channel, we’ve made development in the ‘smart speaker’ space a priority,” Futuri Media CEO Daniel Anstandig says in a news release. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for broadcast brands to stay on the cutting edge.”