VCs explain what they’re looking for in voice-tech startups
Smart speakers and voice assistants are getting the music industry excited, but there’s a wider ecosystem of startups out there looking to do things with this technology: not just music, but podcasting, games, interactive...
November 5, 2019
Replica raises $2.5m funding for its ‘expressive voiceovers’
Music Ally wrote about Australian startup Replica earlier this year, following its participation in the Techstars Music accelerator. The company is using AI to create ‘Replica voice actors on demand” – taking recordings...
October 16, 2019
Amazon springs surprises at its launch of new Alexa devices
We reported earlier this week on the main rumours about Amazon’s products-launch event scheduled for Wednesday: Alexa-enabled earphones and a higher-quality (in an audio sense) Echo smart speaker. Both devices were unveiled...
September 26, 2019
Amazon’s ‘voice interoperability initiative’ includes Spotify
“Voice services should work seamlessly alongside one another on a single device, and… voice-enabled products should be designed to support multiple simultaneous wake words.” That’s the key sentence...
September 25, 2019
Pandora rolls its voice assistant out to all mobile users
Pandora unveiled its own Alexa-style voice assistant in January this year, working with tech partner SoundHound to launch a ‘Hey Pandora’ voice-control feature in its mobile app. Six months later, the feature is now...
July 24, 2019
China has now overtaken the US for smart-speaker shipments
More than 5m smart speakers were shipped in the US during the first quarter of 2019, which represents around 22% year-on-year growth, according to research firm Canalys. But wait: the US is no longer the biggest market for...
May 21, 2019
BBC plans Alexa rival
“Auntie – what’s the weather going to be like today?” This is not some reference to Mary Poppins or Paddington but rather to the fact that the BBC is reportedly working on a voice assistant rival to Alexa and Siri....
May 7, 2019
Spotify is testing voice-enabled ads in the US
When we think about smart speakers and voice control, we tend to think about people controlling music. But there’s also potential for them to be interacting with advertisements too. Spotify has announced that it is testing...
May 3, 2019
Amazon launches Alexa in-skill purchasing internationally
It’s often assumed that you can’t make money from any ‘skills’ (the smart-speaker equivalent of apps) for voice assistants like Alexa. Actually, Amazon launched a feature called ‘in-skill purchasing’ in the US...
May 2, 2019
Study claims Spotify app ‘lags rivals’ for voice controls
Music Ally has written a lot about voice assistants and smart speakers over the past couple of years, but not quite as much about the use of voice controls within the smartphone apps of music-streaming services. Voice-focused...
April 23, 2019
Facebook is working on its own Alexa-style voice assistant
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s personal interest in AI voice-assistants is well known: in 2016 his personal mission for the year was building an AI ‘butler’ named Jarvis. Now the social network is working on a voice...
April 18, 2019
Sandbox Issue 226: What people just don’t “get” about digital marketing
Lead: what digital marketing trends are most underrated or simply misunderstood in 2019? That’s the question we put to the music marketing community and got them to hold forth on the subject. This resulted in a lot of ideas...
April 18, 2019