Cumulus’ Westwood One, America’s Largest Radio Network, has rolled out the Largest Amazon Alexa Skills Network in Partnership with XAPPMedia
NEW YORK, December 14, 2017 – Cumulus Media announces it has launched Amazon Alexa skills for 300 local radio stations, popular Westwood One brands, plus the leading dedicated Christmas Radio Skill, Christmas Radio. This is the largest collection of custom skills available with Amazon Alexa in the U.S.
This week marks the kick off of a national consumer marketing campaign designed to educate listeners on how to find and enable skills, fueled by local on-air, video and social promotion. Individual stations will create localized messaging that speaks directly to their unique listenership. The custom skills can be enabled vocally by using unique key phrases for each radio station; top Cumulus markets including New York City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Dallas stations are now available.
“Voice-interactive technology is bringing radio listening back into the home and office, and will enable interactivity with our stations in the connected car,” said Mike McVay, EVP, Programming and Content, Cumulus Media. “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, Corporate Marketing, Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. “We are dedicated to educating, testing, and learning to evolve the listening experience for our listeners and brand partners.”
Grimes says XAPPmedia was the clear choice to collaborate on this groundbreaking rollout, given the company’s expertise in Voice and AI technologies, strong relationships with radio broadcasters, and the XAPPmedia One Voice AI™ SaaS platform that automates deployment and management of voice apps for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana. It took just a couple of weeks from the project kick off to launching hundreds of stations live on Alexa; across the board XAPP was efficient, organized, and adept.
“Cumulus Media has a track record as media innovators. It is a pleasure working with executives with a long-term vision for how voice interaction will change radio. Cumulus challenged us to move quickly because they wanted to have an immediate impact; no company has brought hundreds of media properties as individual and local custom skills to Amazon Alexa with this speed and at this scale,” said Pat Higbie, CEO and co-founder of XAPPmedia. “Their Amazon Alexa skills network will yield tremendous insight into listener behavior. We are excited to be a part of this important milestone that’s defining the direction for the voice interactive radio era.”
To sample a Cumulus local station skill, follow these simple steps, using the legendary rock station KLOS as an example.
- Just ask your Amazon device, “Alexa, enable Ninety-Five Five, K-L-O-S skill.”
- After it is enabled, access the skill by saying “Alexa, open Ninety-Five Five, K-L-O-S.”
Cumulus Media will be rolling out new national and local audio experiences, as well as sharing new insights on skill discovery and usage as their Amazon Alexa skills network continues to grow in 2018.
About Cumulus Media
A leader in the radio broadcasting industry, Cumulus Media (PINK: CMLSQ) combines high-quality local programming with iconic, nationally syndicated media, sports and entertainment brands to deliver premium content choices to the 245 million people reached each week through its 446 owned-and-operated stations broadcasting in 90 US media markets (including eight of the top 10), approximately 8,000 broadcast radio stations affiliated with its Westwood One network and numerous digital channels. Together, the Cumulus/Westwood One platforms make Cumulus Media one of the few media companies that can provide advertisers with national reach and local impact. Cumulus/Westwood One is the exclusive radio broadcast partner to some of the largest brands in sports, entertainment, news, and talk, including the NFL, the NCAA, the Masters, the Olympics, the GRAMMYs, the Academy of Country Music Awards, the American Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, Westwood One News, and more. Additionally, it is the nation’s leading provider of country music and lifestyle content through its NASH brand, which serves country fans nationwide through radio programming, exclusive digital content, and live events. For more information, visit www.cumulus.com.
XAPPmedia™ is the leader in delivering interactive voice experiences for brands and media and is the first company to Give Brands a Voice™ enabling instant, voice-activated connections with consumers through voice assistants and mobile audio apps. XAPP’s software solutions are applied to voice experience development, distribution and management and to mobile content delivery and advertising. XAPPmedia was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Washington, DC. Learn more at xappmedia.com.
Contact: Lisa Dollinger, Dollinger Strategic Communication for Cumulus Media, 512.633.4084, firstname.lastname@example.org.