NBC has become the first broadcast network to develop a skill for Amazon’s virtual assistant service Alexa. According to an exclusive report by GeekWire, NBC’s Alexa skill aims to provide an alternative way for people to catch up on some popular NBC programs, such as Saturday Night Live, The Voice, and Jimmy Fallon’s late night show. There is not much detail on exactly what types of content Alexa will dispense or how this skill works, but the network does share that a pre-recorded “flash briefing” segment was recorded during live episodes of The Voice for this Alexa skill. Previously, NBC News also created an Alexa skill to enable Echo users to ask Alexa for poll results and other news related to the election.
What Brands Need To Do
At first glance, Alexa may seem to be a mismatch for visual media content given its voice-based conversational interface. But NBC’s example, along with the audio adventure game that Warner Bros. created for Alexa in March to promote Batman vs. Superman, shows that it is possible for entertainment brands to insert their content into Alexa and turn it into a voice-enabled promotional channel. For other brands looking for new channels to distribute branded content, developing an Alexa skill is certainly an option worth exploring.
For more information on how brands can develop authentic brand voices and navigate the new interface, check out the Conversational Interfaces section in our Outlook 2016.