BAYSIDE, CALIFORNIA,�June 30, 2017���Helping broadcast�stations�bring radio back into the homes of today's connected�audiences,�pioneering content delivery network and streaming media provider�StreamGuys�is now offering�custom Alexa �skills��creation for�broadcasters using any streaming host or CDN.�Much like adding functionality to smartphones by installing apps,�the�custom�Alexa�skills�add capabilities to�Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Tap smart home speakers,�enabling�listeners to access�stations��live and on-demand content through intuitive voice commands.�
Alexa�skills allow broadcasters to�choose�the words that users speak to�launch the�station�s�programming, as well as�defining the�interactive�experience surrounding their�content. In addition to live streams, the�skills can provide intuitive, verbal�access to podcasts and on-demand archives, with easy voice navigation between episodes.�Like web domain names, Alexa invocation names � the words users speak to open a custom skill � must be unique, making it important for broadcasters to act swiftly to secure their preferred Alexa identity.
�As an�audio-centric solution with no distracting screen, Echo devices are perfect for audio streaming, and are helping bring radio back into people�s households,� said�Jonathan Speaker, COO, StreamGuys.��However, it can be hard for users to find a station if it�s listed only by call letters, and even more confusing if multiple stations use the same marketing brand. By affordably offering our customers custom Alexa skills creation, we�re enabling them to quickly establish their presence on this important platform.��
One of the first stations to take advantage of StreamGuys� Alexa skills development was New Orleans based, independent community broadcaster WWOZ.�An early adopter of streaming technology,�the�music-focused�station�is always on the lookout for�ways�to grow beyond its terrestrial broadcast footprint, with roughly half of its listeners now coming from outside Louisiana. WWOZ�s skill passed Alexa certification and went live in May, enabling Echo users to listen live, browse WWOZ�s archives or access�specific�on-demand programming by�genre or title through�easy�verbal instructions.�
�Alexa lets consumers interact with their devices in a very intuitive way,� said�David Stafford, New Media Director, WWOZ. �It�s attractive to us because of how embedded smart voice technology has become�in�people�s lifestyles. To be one quick voice command away from people being able to hear us is very cool. By putting us in front of more listeners and embedding us further into their lives, the Alexa integration increases our audience engagement, which we expect will drive more of the donations�that fund us.�
Listeners can access WWOZ�s voice-prompted menu by saying �Alexa, open WWOZ�, or�go�directly to desired content with commands such as �Alexa, tell WWOZ to listen live��or��Alexa, tell WWOZ to play traditional jazz�.�StreamGuys worked closely with WWOZ to organize the station�s�show archive�into an easily voice-navigable�structure, and�to�implement the new integration.�
�Since launching our on-demand archive with StreamGuys using their�SGrecast�software-as-a-service platform, it has become one of the most popular features on our site,� said Stafford. �Our new Alexa Skill enhances our on-demand offering by giving our listeners a powerful and�effortless�new way to access it.�
The new custom Alexa skills offering further extends StreamGuys� end-to-end SaaS platform and toolset for�producing, managing, monetizing and delivering streaming media and podcasts, providing broadcasters with a comprehensive solution spanning content creation through to consumption.�As well as�complementing SGrecast, the Alexa skills can also integrate closely with StreamGuys��SGmetadatapush-based metadata delivery system, allowing�live stream listeners�to ask the station �what�s playing?� or �what song is this?�, with Alexa then speaking out the current song details.
In addition to WWOZ, StreamGuys has also created Alexa skills for�forward-thinking broadcasters including�Internet�radio�outlet�808 Live Reggaecast�(Alexa invocation name �Rasta Music�); NPR stations Rhode Island Public Radio and Georgia Public Radio (�GPB�); RFC Media�s Third Rock Radio (�Third Rock�); Christian FM; Positive Alternative Radio (�Walk FM�, �Joy FM�, �Spirit FM� and �Encouraging Radio�);�and�CHIRP Radio.�
�For stations like WWOZ without a�large institutional�parent to provide�central�development capabilities, having StreamGuys�create�our Alexa integration was�significant,��concluded Stafford. �Having StreamGuys offer all of these things in one place is not only convenient, but makes them feasible for us.�
About StreamGuys, Inc.
In business since 2000, StreamGuys is an industry-leading service provider of live and on-demand streaming, podcasting delivery, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) toolsets for enterprise-level broadcast media organizations. The company brings together the industry�s best price-to-performance ratio, a�robust and reliable network, and an infinitely scalable cloud-based platform for clients of any size to process, deliver, monetize and playout professional streaming content. StreamGuys supports many of the world�s largest Podcasts, global TV and radio broadcasters, video and audio production companies, houses of worship, retail and hospitality businesses, government organizations, medical and healthcare services, and live venues for sports and entertainment. The company excels in developing and deploying technologies for business growth and revenue generation, including dynamic ad insertion, mobile streaming and detailed business and data analytics.