Radioplayer UK adds podcasts and catch-up to their Amazon Echo skill
PRESS RELEASE — January 30, 2018
London, UK—If you’re one of the millions of people living with ‘Alexa’, Amazon’s voice-controlled personal assistant, from today you can ask Radioplayer to play thousands of podcasts and catch-up programmes from across UK radio.
Listeners who have enabled the Radioplayer skill (‘Alexa, enable Radioplayer’), could already ask for 500 stations by name (‘Ask Radioplayer to play Jazz FM’), discover new stations (‘Ask Radioplayer to recommend something’), and enquire about what’s playing (‘Ask Radioplayer what’s on’).
The innovative new podcast and catch-up feature launches after months of prototyping and testing, and the Radioplayer team have taken huge strides in voice technology to get there. Michael Hill, Radioplayer MD, explains: ‘One reason why there aren’t many podcasts available on smart speakers is that it’s difficult to navigate thousands of programmes using just your voice. Working closely with the team at Amazon, we’ve solved many of these issues – and we’ll continue to refine our skill as we get feedback from listeners’.
The team decided to simplify the experience by always playing the most recent episode first, if the requested programme or podcast is part of a series. Listeners can say ‘back’ to hear the previous edition, or ‘next’ to hear the following one.
If you want to listen to a specific show, you can ask for it by date, or by day (‘Ask Radioplayer to play last Tuesday’s Woman’s Hour’). For ‘lucky dip’ listening, you can ask for programmes or podcasts by topic (‘Ask Radioplayer to play programmes about fashion’, or ‘Ask Radioplayer to play podcasts about football’).
The voice requests are interpreted by the Radioplayer ‘skill’, and passed into the central Radioplayer search engine. This was first built in 2011, and has been continually refined ever since, to deliver a world-leading search experience for radio stations and content.
On an average day, UK stations make around 10,000 podcast and catch-up items available to listeners across the Radioplayer platform. These can be accessed via the Radioplayer apps, the web Radioplayer, and integrations with Sonos speakers, Apple Carplay, Android Auto, Chromecast - and now the Amazon Echo.
Once you’ve enabled the Radioplayer ‘skill’, there are thousands of programmes you can find, ranging from the obvious to the obscure. Here are just a few to try…
- ‘Alexa, ask Radioplayer to play The Archers’
- ‘Alexa, ask Radioplayer to play the Chris Moyles podcast’
- ‘Alexa, ask Radioplayer to play the Christian O’Connell show’
- ‘Alexa, ask Radioplayer to play programmes about cheese / giraffes / typewriters’
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