We are now offering a beta for Amazon Alexa enabled devices, via an Amazon Flash Briefing Skill.  Your end users can invoke your skill by saying things like “Alexa, give me my Flash Briefing” or “Alexa, tell me the news”.

This platform is already in Amazon Echo, Dot, Tap, Fire TV, and some Ford vehicles in 2017.  The Amazon Alexa platform is growing fast and it is shaping the way audio interaction and content is going to be distributed. The #1 selling product on Amazon's amazon.com site was the Alexa enabled Echo and Dot. 

We deliver your audio content to the Alexa Platform over their Flash Briefing experience. 

Create and give us access to your Amazon developer account

  1. Create amazon developer account at http://developer.amazon.com
  2. Invite mobile.alexa.maintenance@newscycle.com as a developer (under settings > User Permissions)

Create MP3 files that are accessible at a URL

You will need to provide us URLs to MP3 files for 1 to 3 of the following categories:

In this example, we have chosen NOT to provide a Sports MP3 URL. Your alexa app will just have Top News and Weather.

The MP3’s have the following requirements:

  • MUST be encoded at 256 kbps.  Stereo recommended.
  • URLs MUST be HTTPS.  Dropbox is a great place to host the MP3s.  Just overwrite (do not delete and re-create) the MP3 file when you have new content and it will get picked up in about 15 minutes.  If you use Dropbox make sure your URL ends in dl=1 
  • MP3’s should be normalized to -14 dB LUFS/LKFS.  Full specs and a nice tutorial on how to normalize to a target LUFS can be found here.
  • Alexa has a duration limit of 10 minutes, however we recommend audio length to around 2 minutes.  
  • You can monetize by including audio ads in your file (pre, middle, post-roll etc)
  • You can update the MP3 at the given URL as often as you like.  Simply replace/overwrite your MP3. Alexa refreshes content every 15 minutes

Enter your MP3 URLs into our backend web interface

  1. Log in to https://publish.newscyclemobile.com, select your app and click on the “Labs” tab
  2. You will see a screen like the one below. Put in your URL(s) and hit save.

Build and Submission

Once we have the MP3 URLs from you, we will confirm they meet the requirements and then submit a skill for certification.

Once approved by Amazon, the skill will work on ALL Alexa enabled devices (some 2017 ford vehicles, Fire TV, Echo, Dot etc)

You will get monthly metrics of invocations and installs of each skill via email.  Amazon is still working on getting the flash briefing metrics onto their developer web portal, but since flash briefing is still beta they don’t have all the functionality yet.

Marketing 

You will need to market your skill so your users know it is available.

End users can discover and enable in one of two ways:

  1. Find the skill in the Alexa app on their mobile device.  
  2. Search and one-click enable the skill from the amazon.com marketplace listing page for your skill.

Click here to see an example marketplace listing.

We will provide your Alexa marketplace listing URL once it is available so you can put it on your website, in your mobile app(s) and in your marketing materials.  The URL is a landing page for your skill that allows Alexa owners to one click install your skill on their devices.

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