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Hearing Voices - Issue #24, or "Alexa, buy me something from whole foods. Okay, buying Whole Foods."

"In every battle, there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten. Then, he who continu

Hearing Voices

June 19 · Issue #24 · View online
This week's news about voice computing apps, delivered directly to your inbox.

“In every battle, there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten. Then, he who continues the attack, wins.”
- Ulysses S. Grant
“That quotation wasn’t really related to audio (at all), but given Apple’s entrance into the speakers wars, I thought I’d include it. Plus, great quote, right?”

I was away last week, so sending this week’s edition on Monday in stead of Friday. We’ll see if a second issue is warranted as the week unfolds. A bunch of interesting things happening in voice-land:
> Apple is opening up in-episode analytics of podcasts - This is a really big deal, both good and bad. It will be interesting to see what type of data they expose. Until now, publishers had no way of distinguishing downloads from complete episode listens. What will it mean for CPMs when the data shows people are only listening to half the podcast (not making it to the last ad) or pressing fast forward to skip over ads? Right now podcast publishers all use top-line numbers (# downloads) with no data about actual listens or dropoff during episodes. Seems like this will lead to more realistic numbers, which could lower effective CPMs for some shows. We will see.
> You can now talk to a prototype on SaySpring – in-browser project previews. Cool!
> Why voice tech is about to see major love from VCs - TLDR is that smartphones X mainstream adoption of hardware X third party skills X speech recognition getting better. To me, it’s #2 (hardware adoption, and I include cars in that category) that’s the most impactful. But none of this will work until developers figure out discovery. I’m guessing this will look more like “marketing” than “getting featured.” 
The first ad network for Alexa Skills shuts down following Amazon’s policy changes - Amazon says “I’m sorry I’m having trouble” to VoiceLabs’ “Sponsored Messages” product. On the heals of Amazon releasing a competitor (Amazon Show) to a product made by a company they invested in (Nucleus’ “Anywhere Intercom”) again shows that the platform risk here is real.
> ABC, CBS, Bloomberg, AP & AFP on Otto Radio - listeners can now hear top news stories from CBS News, ABC News, Bloomberg, The Associated Press (AP) and AFP. The stories will cover business, politics, lifestyle and sports.
Thanks for reading this week and have a great week!
- Matt
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