The Phantom of the Opera Becomes the First Broadway Show With an Alexa Skill
“The Phantom of the Opera” is teaching the music of the night to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, launching the first Broadway musical voice app. AI platform developer Broadw.ai worked with the show’s team to create the Alexa skill, which enables people to find and buy tickets for the play by voice alone.
The Alexa skill merges Amazon Pay and Telecharge with the show’s ticketing system. Potential attendees ask Alexa to open “The Phantom of the Opera Broadway and can find out what tickets are available on the day they want to attend. After picking out their preferred seats, the tickets are purchased using the stored credit card on Amazon. The idea is to recreate what would happen if someone were to call the box office for tickets, but more quickly and without the show needing to bring in more people to answer the phone. Along with the ticketing feature, the Alexa skill includes a trivia game and can share facts about the show.
“I am absolutely thrilled that The Phantom of the Opera is the first Broadway show to create an Amazon Alexa skill,” show producer Cameron Mackintosh said in a statement. “Teaming up with Amazon Pay, Telecharge, and Broadw.ai on this forward-thinking technology allows us to further engage with our incredible fan base and be on the forefront of ticketing innovation. From the very beginning of its smashing three-decade run, Phantom has been a leader at the box office, and this allows us to continue to lead that charge.”
Curtains Up on Broadway Voice Skills
Broadw.ai began as a chat-based virtual assistant, created in a partnership with Satisfi Labs. Visitors to the website or Facebook page of a Broadw.ai partner can ask the virtual assistant about tickets and purchase them through Ticketmaster. The AI can answers questions about location and make suggestions for places to eat and things to do in the area. Now, the Phantom Alexa skill accomplishes the same tasks in response to a customer’s voice.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with The Phantom of the Opera to help create engaging, seamless experiences for their fans,” said Broadw.ai CEO Micah Hollingworth. “In today’s fast-paced world, it is crucial for shows to have a way to converge and engage with guests instantaneously across multiple communications channels.”
Adding voice to the options for Broadw.ai’s clients took some time, largely because of the certification process, according to Voicebot’s interview with Hollingsworth in July. With that done, however, translating the Phantom voice skill for the other shows using Broadw.ai’s chatbot should be more straightforward. For voice platforms like Alexa or Google Assistant, working with specialists like Broadw.ai is a good way to encourage people to get into voice commerce, without needing to address the complexities of ticket sales on their own. And it’s another way for Broadway shows and other ticketed events to find out what prices people are asking for, and improve how they market and sell their events.