The Problem:

On The Dot Woman is the brainchild of Austin Women Magazine founder Melinda Garvey. The daily audio clips deliver the latest news, stories and commentary about women in business via four minute bite-sized episodes.

On The Dot was looking to increase their listenership using innovative methods to deliver content to their audience, with a focus on listener convenience. 

The Artificial Intelligence Solution:

Before working with Digital Nebula, On The Dot audio episodes were only available via a web browser. Listeners would have to rely on memory to visit the site directly, or to signup for email notifications notifying them when new episodes were released and then follow through the links to listen.

Digital Nebula’s extensive knowledge of the business trends and opportunities in artificial intelligence shaped the recommendation for On the Dot to develop an Amazon Alexa Skill to play the audio clips via intelligent voice command.

Alexa is an intelligent personal assistant developed by Amazon made popular by the Amazon Echo device. The assistance uses voice interaction to execute various tasks (called ‘Skills’) such as music playback, creation of task lists and reminders, setting alarms, streaming podcasts or audiobooks, and providing real time information updates such as weather, traffic, and news. Alexa also has abilities to control other smart devices, allowing Alexa to be used as a home automation system. Most devices using Alexa allow users to activate the assistant using a word (for example, “Alexa”), though other devices (such as the Amazon app on iOS or Android) require the user to push a button to activate Alexa’s listening mode.

Adding the Alexa skill for On the Dot allowed Alexa users to hear the On the Dot audio via simple voice commands (such as, “Alexa, ask On The Dot Woman to play episode”) without requiring the listener to track down the link to the latest episode via phone or computer.

Digital Nebula’s development team helped define the requirements for the most effective and applicable solution for On The Dot. The Skill would allow a person to command an Echo Dot to start and stop the audio clip at any time an Alexa device was near.

With an Amazon Echo install base of around 11 million devices and an application ecosystem of only 7,000 skills currently, there is now a ripe opportunity to get in front of consumers utilizing the forefront in artificial intelligence. Amazon has a strong initiative in place to help enable developers to utilize their platform by providing proper tooling for testing, development, and hosting, which minimizes the effort and cost to publish a new skill. As a result, development, production and Alexa Skill approval from Amazon took less than one week to complete.

Digital Nebula recently delivered the solution to On The Dot and we look forward to receiving updates on how it is received by listeners. We’ll be sure to add an update in coming weeks on the resulting increase in listenership as a result of utilizing this technology!

If you are interested in developing your own Alexa skill for your business (within a week!) click here to connect with our bot and outline your needs.

Promotion Alert! Amazon is offering a free Amazon Echo to any developers who publish skills in the month of June. Let us build your skill and we’ll send you Echo for free. (Full details.)

About the Author

John Shaw