Cumulus Media Launches Amazon Alexa Skills For 300 Local Stations

Cumulus Media has launched Amazon Alexa skills for 300 local radio stations, 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.

To sample a Cumulus local station skill, users can ask Alexa to enable a specific radio station skill (for example, for rock station KLOS, users can say, “Alexa, enable Ninety-Five Five, KLOS skill”). After the skill is enabled, users can then open the skill in Alexa.

Cumulus has also launched 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.”

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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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