BBC Launches Interactive Voice News Service for Alexa Smart Speakers

LONDON – The BBC unveiled the UK’s first interactive voice news service on Wednesday. Users with an Alexa-enabled smart-speaker can ask it to “Give me BBC News.”

“Alexa – Give Me BBC News”

As well as headlines, there is additional content on this new service. This includes content from BBC News’s specialist reporters and correspondents. Furthermore, there are flexible bulletins which can be of a length that suits the user, at a time when the user wants them. The interactive voice news service will also be supplemented by content from the BBC’s radio archive.

Reimaging Radio

Mukul Devichand, executive editor, BBC Voice and AI, said:

Smart speakers give us the chance to reimagine what radio would be like if it were invented today, free from its technical limitations. By making the news interactive on smart speakers, listeners can jump to the stories they need to hear just before rushing out of the house, or, when they have more time, they can delve into a piece and find out more. Delivering the trusted content people expect from the BBC, this new form of audio news comes at an important moment. It will help people navigate through one of the most dramatic news cycles in recent times

Andy Webb, Head of Product, BBC Voice and AI, said:

A world of opportunities open up once you connect a speaker to the internet and make it interactive. We’re taking advantage of that by combining our world-class content makers and engineers, exploring how this exciting new medium could look and how we can better serve our audiences now and in future.

While the service is only launching on Alexa- enabled devices initially, the BBC said it was looking to expand this in the future. This could include Apple’s HomePod.

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