Cumulus Media rolls out 300 custom Amazon Alexa skills

Cumulus Media announced that it has launched Amazon Alexa voice skills for 300 local radio stations, which it says marks the largest collection of custom Alexa skills in the United States. This push includes popular Westwood One brands and Christmas radio skills. It partnered with XAPPmedia for the project.

The media company is embarking on a marketing campaign to educate listeners about how to find and enable these voice commands. Stations will be able to make localized messaging specific to their markets, and the different stations can have unique key phrases for vocally enabling the skills.

“Voice-interactive technology is bringing radio listening back into the home and office, and will enable interactivity with our stations in the connected car,” Cumulus EVP of Programming and Content Mike McVay said. “Our strategy to create a custom skill for individual radio stations and programs, while educating consumers, is critical as smart speakers have created an entirely new, and rapidly growing platform to consume audio content.”

“at an aggregated network level we will have access to valuable data and insights on this rapidly-evolving audio ecosystem,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP of corporate marketing for Cumulus and president of Westwood One. “We are dedicated to education, testing, and learning to evolve the listening experience for our listeners and brand partners.”

Anna Washenko