Bauer Media Audio creates innovative Alexa experiences for listeners


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Background information

In this week’s egtabite we showcase innovative Alexa skills – these digital experiences are designed to bring the listener even closer to the radio brands they know and love.

Smart speakers and voice assistants are becoming more and more prevalent. The latest data from Edison Research show that 25% of the population in the UK own a smart speaker and 6% of the population own a smart speaker but not a radio. Smart speakers are becoming an important distribution channel for radio as well as being a platform to interact with listeners.

Bauer Media Audio developed and launched several Alexa skills in 2021. After the initial success of the first one, they partnered up with Amazon to work on additional concepts. They also managed to bring clients like Tesco on board for this new format. Below you can find descriptions of the skills and find inspiration for your own voice strategy.

Five Words Five Grand

Five Words Five Grand” is Absolute Radio’s most popular game on the radio, with listeners of Dave Berry’s Breakfast Show attempting to match words with the team in an attempt to win cash.

Through a unique collaboration between Bauer Media Audio’s in-house digital developers and Amazon, the game was made available to play with family and friends at home, leveraging the Alexa voice assistant platform.

Thousands of unique player journeys were mapped out and coded – meaning that users would be able to recreate the serendipity of the live radio experience. These were then written, voiced and produced with Dave Berry as host.

Following this initial pilot, Amazon and Bauer Media Audio explored the idea of creating further games.

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Through the Decades

The next launch was the Through the Decades Game; a pub-quiz style music game where listeners could test their knowledge and answer questions by moving through the decades from the 60s to now, mirroring Absolute Radio’s decades radio station portfolio.

In a ‘digital-first’ approach, the smart-speaker game then resulted in a spin-off version being played on-air to directly promote the Alexa skill. Longtime Show sponsor, Tesco Mobile, came on-board to partner with both the Alexa skill and the on-air version of the game, meaning that for the first time Alexa players were able to win unique prizes.

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Magic Radio’s 100% Christmas Quiz

Bauer Media Audio came together with Amazon to create an interactive Alexa skill – a family game which tested players on their knowledge of Christmas songs, festive traditions, movies and TV. The game was hosted by Magic Radio Breakfast presenters Ronan Keating and Harriet Scott, extending the appeal of the Magic Radio brand into a new digital sphere.

The skill complemented a wider partnership – with Ronan Keating recording a special pre-roll ‘Merry Christmas’ message, which complemented the popular Amazon “Hey Santa” skill that was dynamically inserted into listener feeds before Magic Radio was played on devices with Alexa. Likewise, the Amazon Santa voice was also heard across Magic Radio, in trails across the station.

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All of the skills were promoted via the brands’ social media, and on-air with live presenter reads and the games being played on air.

If you are looking for additional inspiration on voice skills, be sure to check out egta’s publication on Voice strategies here.