XAPPmedia Launches Self-Service Platform for Podcast Alexa Skills
Yesterday XAPPmedia launched a new self-service offering for podcasters called Voice Cast. The new solution allows podcasters to create a custom Alexa skill by simply filling out an online form. From there, XAPP will review and test the skill and submit it to Amazon for certification. The entire process from payment to having a live Alexa skill only takes a few days.
Voice Cast also gives podcasters features they do not currently have access to on aggregators like TuneIn. For instance, there is session persistence so the listener can tune back in to exactly where they left off previously and the option to record a custom welcome message which can include sponsorship. Features like these were based on XAPP working and collaborating with 50 podcast customers over the past year including the Voicebot Podcast. XAPPmedia was the first to launch a custom podcast Alexa skill for the investment podcast, We Study Billionaires.
Reaching a New and Growing Audience
Podcasts have grown in popularity in recent years and with the adoption of smart speakers like the Amazon Echo, more people are listening to audio in the home than ever before. In fact, it is estimated that over 40 million people in the US listen to audio content on Alexa. But as Michael Myers, XAPPmedia chief product officer and co-founder points out, listening to a podcast on Alexa on an aggregator on TuneIn left a lot to be desired from a user experience perspective:
Podcast listening on Alexa is a subpar user experience today and we set out to fix it with Voice Cast for Podcasts…The podcaster can define the user experience based on their content and audience.
XAPP is also increasing the podcast audience beyond the US. Alexa users in the U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India will also be able to enable the skills created through Voice Cast. Considering Amazon’s global ambitions for Alexa, this can only help to increase the listening audience for U.S. podcasters. It could be five minutes well spent.