Amazon has introduced a code-free way to make a radio station’s stream discoverable via its Alexa smart speakers. Previously, stations had to go through a streaming aggregator, like TuneIn, or develop their own Alexa Skill.
With the new onboarding system, stations can provide their streaming URLs and metadata via a simple intake form. This will allow smart speaker users to access the station by saying “Alexa, play [station name].” Amazon says support can be included for a station’s alternate name, call sign, or frequency, as well as location-based search, to ease discovery.
“Previously, onboarding a radio station to Alexa could take a developer as long as three to six months. With this new service, radio stations can fill in the intake form quickly without any developer resources. This new way of accessing the Alexa Radio Skills Kit offers the same features and customer experience as radio stations who build their own RSK skills,” wrote Arun Krishnan on the Alexa Skills Kit Blog.
About half of all U.S. internet users own smart speakers, according to Comscore Plan Metrix Multi-Platform data, and about 94.2 million Amazon Alexa devices are in use nationwide.
As of December 2021, code-free radio onboarding for Alexa is “generally available,” according to Amazon, in the United States, as well as Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
To explore the code-free radio onboarding, Amazon says to email [email protected].