Today, we're happy to announce another step forward in our strategy to deliver the best nationally and locally produced public radio content on smart speakers.
When the first Amazon Echo hit the market in 2014, users who asked Alexa to "play the news" would hear the most recent NPR hourly newscast. Starting today, thanks to a new partnership between NPR and Amazon, new Alexa owners have the opportunity to hear not only the hourly newscast but, immediately after it, a continuous listening experience that delivers a stream of the best and most up-to-date national and local content from Member stations and NPR powered by the NPR One systems and editorial workflows.
Now, new users who have not had an Alexa account previously will simply have to say, "Alexa, play the news." Alexa will then ask the users to select a source. If the user replies, "NPR," Alexa will ask for a zip code and confirm a local Member station, which will then be linked to a flow of news.
Built by NPR, the new long-form news experience is expected to slowly roll out to 100% of Alexa devices by Monday, April 15. Existing Alexa account holders will also be able to access the new experience, though the utterance they use will need to be a little more specific: "Alexa, play news from NPR."
The new continuous stream is the latest in a growing list of voice skills and actions built by NPR. The others include:
Public Radio Streaming Action on Google Assistant
Public Radio Streaming Skill on Alexa
Flash Briefing Visual newscast on Alexa
Visual and Audio Newscast on Google Assistant
NPR One Skill on Alexa
Wait Wait Quiz on both Alexa and Google Home
More than 53 Million Americans 18 and older now own a smart speaker, and more than half of them own at least two (NPR & Edison research 2019). NPR is committed to continuing to serve our audience and meet listeners where they are, providing the best mix of local and national news in these new platforms.
To get started, just say, "Alexa, play news from NPR!"