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SMG Places All Streams in Alexa Native Discovery


Stephens Media Group
Stephens Media Group

Stephens Media Group has onboarded all 15 markets of its streaming stations into the new Alexa radio discovery feature. The new radio onboarding system announced by Amazon in December, 2021 allows local radio to be discovered by more than just call letters or a custom skill name, including geo-location, frequency and alternate name in other languages.

"We believe we are the first multi-market radio company to fully onboard all of our streaming stations into the new discovery engine," stated SVP Programming Bob Thornton, "We've worked directly with Amazon since 2018 to encourage them and help provide feedback on ways to make local radio easily discoverable on Alexa without custom skills, and this is a great first step."

"Previously, when someone wanted to listen locally to 100.9 for example, they needed to know the call letters or custom skill name, or they might get a 100.9 from another market. Now, Alexa will cross-reference with location and other information about the station to make the best match," added Thornton.

"The other advantage is that our listeners can hear us without our stream passing through an aggregator like TuneIn or iHeart Radio, so they don't have to listen to an aggregator's ad (which the station receives no revenue from) while we pay all the royalties and provide the content. It's a win-win for radio and the listener," said Thornton.

SMG says about half of all U.S. internet users own smart speakers, according to Comscore Plan Metrix Multi-Platform data, and about 94.2 million Amazon Alexa devices are in use nationwide.

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