HBO Max Feature

HBO Max Launches Alexa Skill to Determine What You Should Watch

HBO Max has released a new Alexa skill aimed at cutting down the amount of time people spend just browsing the streaming service for things to watch. The HBO Max Recommends voice app, built in a partnership with voice app developer Skilled Creative, asks a few questions and designs a personalized playlist for subscribers.

Maximum Ideas

The Alexa skill starts by bringing up content the user might be interested in watching. The app allows users to filter what kinds of content they will see, based on genre and can answer questions about the shows it lists, including cast and characters. Users can add the content to their shortlist or skip it. In case the AI doesn’t seem to do well at coming up with ideas, the app will also turn on Spotlight Sessions, curated around the launch of new content, starting with In the Heights this June. There’s also a ‘multiplayer mode’ for when up to three people are figuring out what to watch together. HBO Max Recommends will make suggestions, but everyone in the group has to choose to add it to their list for it to be included.

“HBO Max continues to build on its mission of providing fun and interactive experiences to fans with their skill ‘HBO Max Recommends,'” HBO Max and HBO senior vice president Jason Mulderig, said in the announcement. “Working with Amazon and adding this additional avenue of content discovery is another way we’re enhancing our customers’ overall viewing experience.”

Skilled Thinking

Skilled Creative’s partnership with Warner Media on the new Alexa skill builds on the voice app developer’s expertise with Alexa. Women’s lifestyle brand Meredith has frequently collaborated with Skilled Creative to apply the latest Alexa developer features. For instance, Skilled Creative updated the My Daily Mindset Alexa skill from Meredith near the end of last year with a Spanish option, making it Meredith’s first bilingual skill. The skill also added Alexa’s name-free interaction (NFI) toolkit to make it easier to find the skill, and Quick Links top let people share a link to that others can click on to enable the skill. The flexibility of HBO Max Recommends grows out of those features and boosts Alexa as a source of streaming entertainment at the same time.

“We are so proud to work with HBO Max to launch the ‘HBO Max Recommends’ skill for Alexa and reach HBO Max users—and their family and friends—with a simplified, fun and satisfying journey as they decide what to stream from HBO Max’s premier catalog,” Amazon Alexa Skills director Steve Bernstein said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing how fans respond to and engage with this new offering with HBO Max Recommends as their guide.”


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