As clock radios, stereos and Walkmans disappear, The Amazon Echo and Google Home have given new hope to programmers for bringing local radio back into listeners’ homes. While screen-driven smartphones and tablets have proven well-suited to the endless exploration Spotify and YouTube enable, smart speakers seem perfectly suited to radio:
Because they’re powered by voice-commands, listeners have to know what they want to hear and how to ask for it. In theory, that gives strong local radio brands a head start. There isn’t a screen filled with endless competing choices.
Since they’re designed to play in the background while users do other things, smart speakers also seemingly pair perfectly with radio’s hands-off, hassle free approach to providing listeners a music soundtrack.
Are the bets we’re placing on Alexa and her friends actually supported by what people are doing?
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