News

The NYT gets into voice with 5 new Alexa skills, including a daily briefing, quiz and more

The NYT gets into voice with 5 new Alexa skills, including a daily briefing, quiz and more
Technology
On weekdays, the Times will offer a short news briefing for Alexa devices that’s hosted by Michael Barbaro of The NYT’s popular podcast, “The Daily.” Listeners can enable the Alexa skill, then ask to hear the top stories by saying “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing,” or “Alexa, what’s in the news?,” for example.

For now, the flash briefing consists of the last portion of “The Daily” where Barbaro says “Here’s what else you need to know today.”

Also new today is a daily news quiz, created by “The Daily’s” producers. This will be available on Fridays, and is triggered by saying “Alexa, play The New York Times News Quiz.”

The quiz will ask questions that listeners answer to then be told if they are right or wrong. The skill will provide additional context, as well.

While daily briefing skills and quizzes are among the most popular types of Alexa skills today, the way the paper is experimenting with its Sunday paper contest is interesting.

Skill discovery is still a huge challenge on voice assistants. And even when you enable a skill, you may forget to use it or not remember what it’s called, if it’s not something you launch regularly.

The NYT’s solution is to add Alexa prompts to its printed edition of the Sunday paper, for select sections including travel, music, and books.

Starting this weekend, a special section will feature Travel’s annual list of f ‘ 52 Places to Go .’ Readers can choose to listen to the Times’s new ‘Traveler’ writer Sebastian Modak, as he visits all the places on the list, by saying, “Alexa, open the 52 Places Traveler.”

In addition, a command to “open The Pop Music Roundup” will offer a voice round-up from Times pop music editor Caryn Ganz, while saying “Alexa, get book recommendations from The New York Times” will trigger Alexa to tell you what the paper’s book critics are reading and recommend.

All three of these Alexa skills will continue beyond this weekend and will include fresh content.

“We’ve only just begun to explore the ways that voice technology can bring Times journalism to our audience, where and how they want it,” said Monica Drake, assistant managing editor, The New York Times, in a statement about the Alexa skills. “This project is a great starting point in this effort as we begin to experiment the ways voice can work in conjunction with stayed mediums like print while also exploring native Times experiences like the flash briefing and interactive news quiz, built specifically for voice services,” she added.

The NYT already offered some of its news through Alexa and other voice assistants prior to today, as its podcast “The Daily” has been available across platforms. But this is the first time it has rolled out dedicated Alexa skills like this.
Read more on TechCrunch
News Topics :
RELATED STORIES :
Technology
The announcement, which was a part of The NYT’s presentation at today’s NewFronts, arrives at a time when podcasts are seeing a boom. According to one report , 2018 saw...
Technology
CNN is launching a new app for Amazon’s Alexa platform and its line of Echo speakers that will connect the news network’s TV network more directly with the voice based computing...
Entertainment
Last decade, podcasts became more polished and professional, not to mention profitable — but they stayed away from daily news for the most part. Mary Harris, host of Slate s...
Technology
Amazon’s Alexa voice platform has now passed 15, 000 skills – the voice powered apps that run on devices like the Echo speaker, Echo Dot, newer Echo Show and others. The figure...
Business
LONDON Britain s Daily Mail newspaper will tell you that many things you eat can give you cancer, global warming is probably bunk and the British way of life...