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Media brands optimize video for Amazon Echo Show

News, 30 June 2017
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NEW YORK: Following the US release this week of Amazon's new screen-enabled Echo Show, media brands are moving to produce content specialized for the platform's voice and screen interactivity, according to reports.

Scripps' Food Network and Time Inc.'s People have announced apps for the new device, Ad Age reported, as media owners seek to capitalize on a device they see as more functional and user friendly than the original, voice-only, Echo.

For the Food Network, which provides recipes, the new device "solves one of the key challenges consumers have with voice alone, which is you can't look at it", said Al Ming, director of product management for Scripps Networks websites, apps and platforms.

"If you can't look at it, you're probably not going to decide to eat it," he added. Though the network had an app on the Alexa operating system, the functionality was relatively poor, given that users had to ask the device for a recipe, which they would then receive via email.

Ming told the magazine that the voice "skill" only reached around 600 people daily.

Now, however, the Echo Show acts as an over-the-top video channel, and will receive re-purposed content that already exists on the mobile apps and websites.

Due to Amazon's market dominance in the voice-assistant space, Time Inc. will also produce flash briefings for the People publication.

Elsewhere, Variety reported that a handful of other publishers, including CNN, Bloomberg, and CNBC will also add video to their offering for users of the device, designed to play when the user says, "Alexa, show me the news".

Earlier this year, a JWT/Mindshare report, Speakeasy: The future answers to you, explored the applications of voice, noting, however, that "the interplay between voice and screen remains critical" - not least for categories dependent on a display of visual information, such as travel or fashion.

Data sourced from Ad Age, Variety, JWT/Mindshare; additional content by WARC staff

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