Want your radio listeners to use both touch and voice to tune to your station? You may want to follow the lead of both Newsy and iHeartRadio, which on Monday said in separate announcements that they are on Facebook’s latest home video communications devices.
Those devices are Portal and Portal+, which Facebook this week started heavily promoting as “smart, hands-free video calling with Alexa built in.”
Picture a video-powered smart speaker, merging the television with the audio device the radio industry has gone gaga for and a smartphone.
As shown on the Facebook webpage describing Portal, it offers two-way video calling with a camera that can move around with you.
“Whether you’re moving around the kitchen or chasing the kids through the living room, Portal’s Smart Camera adjusts to follow the action,” Facebook says.
Lots of privacy claims are front-and-center: “Facebook doesn’t listen to, view or keep the contents of your Portal video calls. Your Portal conversations stay between you and the people you’re calling.”
“You can completely disable the camera and microphone with a single tap, or block the camera lens with the camera cover provided.”
“Like other voice-enabled devices, Portal only sends voice commands to Facebook servers after you say, ‘Hey Portal.’ You can delete Portal’s voice history in your Facebook Activity Log.”
“For added security, Smart Camera uses AI technology that runs locally on Portal, not on Facebook servers. Portal’s camera does not use facial recognition and does not identify who you are.”
How do Newsy and iHeart fit? Music, videos, news, and other content are being fed from the respective companies.
“With Portal, listeners will be able to use both touch and voice to tune in to live iHeartRadio radio stations, artists stations, podcasts and free playlists that fit their mood, activity, theme or genre,” the owner of the most radio stations in the U.S. notes.
“This is big news as iHeartRadio will now be heard on [Portal] devices, making our stations even more accessible for listeners,” iHeart notes.
Newsy becomes the first brand to have an app in the news category on Portal and Portal+, which features a 15-inch, rotating display. Portal features the same core features and a 10-inch display.
When a user initiates the Newsy app, Portal will open a video news reel covering recent top stories from the U.S. and around the world. “Newsy gives Portal users a new way to keep up with the latest headlines or get a deep-dive on news categories spanning world and national news, politics, culture, science and technology,” Newsy notes.
Newsy CEO Blake Sabatinelli notes, “As the news network for the next generation, Newsy’s strategy is to make our content available anywhere viewers are watching. Newsy’s integration with Portal is part of that strategy, introducing news consumers to video calling devices as an additional path to staying up to date on the latest news.”
Newsy is a wholly owned subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Company.