Alexa, enable Impact Radio.
With this one simple instruction, smart homes in Idaho’s biggest market that have an Amazon Echo device can now easily listen to any of Impact Radio Group‘s seven Boise, Idaho stations.
That’s all thanks to an Impact-initiated addition to the “unofficial” Alexa Skills Store. Here, one can click on the “Enable Skill” button or say those four magic words at the start of this story, and Amazon Echo will be able to cue up a station by its moniker.
Of course, this requires a specific request. So, users will need to say, “Alexa, ask Impact radio to play Wild One Oh One,” when seeking to tune to CHR/Rhythmic KWYD-FM 101.1 via their Amazon Echo.
To be clear, audio streaming is accessed via Amazon Echo; it does not have an FM tuner.
However, AM and FM stations in markets large and small are rapidly linking their stations to smart home device access in one of the biggest attempts in recent memory to restore significant radio listening levels in the home—and away from the bedside clock radio.
Impact’s other stations in Boise include KQBL-FM 101.9 “The Bull”; KQBL HD2 “ESPN Boise,” heard on 99.1 via a translator; KQBL HD3 “96.5 The Alternative “; KSRV-FM “Bob FM 96.1”; KZMG-FM “My 102.7”; and KKOO-AM 1380 and FM translator 101.5 “Kool Oldies.”
The Alexa Skill saw a May 26 soft release and is now being publicized by the company, led by CEO Darrell Calton.
Speaking to Streamline Publishing co-owned publication Radio INK, Calton said, “While we were not the first radio station or group to add an Alexa skill for listening, we are certainly one of the few and very proud to stand at the forefront of what may be an in home resurgence in radio listening.”
He added, “With the massive popularity of Amazon’s Echo we felt that there was an opportunity to get the radio stations back into the home in a place of prominence as they once were. We started the process nearly six months ago, working with a brilliant local Idaho developer. The ease and simplicity of the interface they created is phenomenal. After using it for just a few days during the beta testing, I was wishing I could bring the ease of voice control into the car radio.”