World News:

The Rise of Podcasts (take 2)?
Spotify acquires Parcast to expand its original podcast content. The streaming platform keeps on betting on podcasts as announced in February after the acquisition of yet another podcast company, Gimlet. That’s Spotify third acquisition in the podcast business within the last two months. The acquisition is rumored to have cost about 100 million dollars. Parcast – a content producer – is known for its true-crime and other series on mystery, science fiction, and history. Link (Techcrunch)

Amazon goes further with the “Alexa everywhere” strategy by introducing Alexa Business Blueprints
Amazon announced on the Alexa blog that the Alexa blueprints – templates that allow you to create Alexa skills easily and without coding knowledge – are now available for skills dedicated to the office with Alexa for Business Blueprints. An interesting move from Amazon as Alexa is clearly not (yet?) known for its use in business, especially when compared to the likes of Microsoft’s Cortana which has made it only focus. The Alexa for Business Blueprints are (unfortunately) currently available only in the United States.  Link (Alexa Blog)

European News:

The Rise of Podcasts (take 3)?
The French audience measurement company Mediametrie released its Global Audio report shedding light upon the consumption of audio content in France. While radio is still at the forefront of audio consumption, 22.8% of internet users listen to podcasts and catch-up radio amount every month. Link (Mediametrie)

Tit-for-tat between BBC and Google…on Podcasts
The British broadcaster decided not to make available its podcasts on certain Google products such as the Google Podcast app and Google Assistant. The reason is that BBC got “annoyed” that all search queries for their podcasts were directed to the Google podcast service rather than BBC Sounds – its own podcast platform. With this move from the Mountain View giant, the BBC lost access to meaningful audience data among other things. Furthermore, the British corporation is now working on an expansion of its Sounds app in view of adding the content of other media companies to its offering. This is gain leverage against Google but also against other podcast platforms such as Apple and Spotify. Link (Techcrunch)

Huawei is giving away a free Sonos speaker with smartphone orders
For the launch of its P30 and P30 Pro smartphones, the Chinese manufacturer that consumers from the U.K. and Ireland who pre-order the device will receive a free Sonos One speaker. A move from two challengers on their respective markets to gain market share. Link (Voicebot)

A team of German scientists sent secret messages to Alexa
A team of scientists from the University of Ruhr-Bochum has succeeded in integrating secret commands into audio files such as speech or songs. Those messages are not audible for the human ear but Alexa understands and reacts to it, opening the possibilities of an attack whereby items could be ordered without the Alexa user knowing it for example. Link (University of Ruhr-Bochum – in German, video in English)



Alexis Hue

Alexis Hue

Alexis is the founder of Voice & You, a voice growth consultancy. With his strong background in marketing and user acquisition for digital services, he advises brands, publishers and developers on how to grow the audience of their voice apps.