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Cumulus Offers Alexa Skills for 300 Stations

Custom skills will also help broadcaster learn more about listener behavior

Cumulus Media has launched Amazon Alexa skills for 300 local radio stations, Westwood One brands and Christmas Radio. In the announcement, the broadcaster says this “is the largest collection of custom skills available with Amazon Alexa in the U.S.”

The skills are now available for stations in markets including New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco and Dallas, and the custom skills can be enabled by using key phrases for each radio station.

“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 Cumulus Executive Vice President of Programming and Content Mike McVay. “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.”

The broadcaster tapped XAPPmedia and its One Voice AI SaaS platform to deploy and manage the voice apps. XAPPmedia CEO/co-founder Pat Higbie noted that the “skills network will yield tremendous insight into listener behavior.”

Now, Cumulus has kicked off a “national consumer marketing campaign” intended to teach listeners how to find and enable these skills.