Close
 

New Zealand organisations latch on to Alexa

  • News
  • January 30, 2018
  • Findlay Buchanan
New Zealand organisations latch on to Alexa

Smart speakers and digitised helpers have been cited as this year’s big fish in New Zealand - and warring virtual assistants from Amazon's Alexa to Google Assistant, Apple's Siri, Samsung Bixby and Microsoft Cortana are hot on the tech scene.

Of these, Amazon’s release of Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot speakers will be coming to New Zealand in early February. The interactive, interoperable smart speaker can accomplish a long list of mundane tasks; such as turn on the lights, play music, order pizza and more recently, supply snippets of news. 

Alexa is the brains behind the family of Amazon Echo smart products and will be a key feature of the Amazon speakers.

The Business Insider predicted the total number of Americans using voice-activated assistant devices was 35.6 million in 2017 and Amazon accounted for 70.6 percent of the voice-enabled speaker market in the U.S.

On local soil, vying media organisations NZME, Fairfax, and TVNZ have pounced on the opportunity to collaborate with the Amazon Echo smart speakers. The ploy will cater to the changing expectations among audiences to access news, entertainment, and information.

So, how will the fusion of virtual assistants and media perform in New Zealand?

Amazon Alexa's launch will enable users to activate one minute of nationwide news, by simply stating “Alexa, play my flash briefing” or "Alexa, what is the news today?", and its making news organisations excited.

The user will be offered the choice of minute-long news bulletins provided by Stuff, The Herald, Newstalk ZB or 1 News.

Stuff editor Patrick Crewdson believes “Stuff’s flash briefing will be a swift and snappy shot of local news for listeners”.

Meanwhile, NZME has contributed three skills to Alexa, allowing Kiwis to stay up to date with the latest news via The Herald, Newstalk ZB flash briefings as well as be entertained with ZM’s on demand.

Chief digital officer at NZME Laura Maxwell says Alexa can help you do thousands of things.

"Now that includes staying up to date on the latest news and sports happening here and around the world.”

TVNZ’s1 News has also launched a skill on the Amazon Echo speakers, which enables Alexa to read out the news bulletin that is updated twice daily.

TVNZ’s head of news and current affairs, John Gillespie, says the 1 News skill for Alexa gives New Zealanders an innovative way to access the latest local and international headlines, making it easier than ever to stay up to date with breaking news stories that matter.

MediaWorks is yet to disclose its plans in regard to virtual assistants, however, a spokesperson believes it will have some exciting product developments coming in the smart assistant space.

According to TechCrunch, the original Apple virtual assistant, ‘Siri’, remains the most popular with 41.4 million monthly active users in the U.S, however, it has dropped 15 percent since last year, equivalent to 7.3 million users.

Correlated to the decline in monthly users is the exponential growth of the Amazon Alexa usage – up 325 percent in monthly active users, according to the same source.

Amazon Echo has harnessed voice activation software in the home, while consumers were ambivalent about using ‘Siri’ in public spaces according to The Business Insider. It says people are embarrassed by 'Siri' and reports only three percent of American users activate 'Siri' in public. 

The bucking trend of voice computing in the comfort of the user's home is also likely to increase the time that consumers spend online, according to a Verto analysis.

However, not everybody is sold - sceptics of Amazon’s smart speaker are unsure what to do with virtual assistants, including a statement by Justin Hosseininejad in the New York Times, who suggests smart speakers are "a solution looking for a problem".

UPDATE:

SKY TV is also planning to develop a skill with Amazon for launch next month, focused on content discovery. It is currently working with Rush Digital on the project. 

Although Bauer is yet to disclose a concrete release, it has plans on the horizon for voice-activated search, including projects across a number of brands such as a possible Noted/Amazon Alexa collaboration. 

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

Restaurant Brands turns 22

  • News
  • March 26, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Restaurant Brands turns 22

As it prepares to celebrate its 22nd birthday, the listed corporate franchisor foresees a sunny future for the three – soon to be four - multi-site branded food retail chains it manages in New Zealand.

Read more
 
 

Linwood businesses struggle in mosque attack aftermath

  • News
  • March 26, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Linwood businesses struggle in mosque attack aftermath

A group of Christchurch businesses are struggling to get back on their feet after the attack on their neighbouring Linwood Mosque. Photo: RNZ / Katie Todd

Read more
 
 

Farmers account awarded to Clemenger Group

  • News
  • March 26, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Farmers account awarded to Clemenger Group

99 and Colenso BBDO have won the creative and customer experience business for Farmers. The win, after a competitive pitch, sees the advertising account return to 99 after a six-year hiatus.

Read more
 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

Hemp products go beyond the specialty shelves

  • News
  • March 25, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Hemp products go beyond the specialty shelves

Since hemp seeds’ legalisation for growing, manufacture and sale in November 2018, supermarkets have quickly pivoted to include hemp products such as protein powder in their health food and specialty sections, but the trendy ingredient has already found its way into mainstream product categories.

Read more
 
 

No longer just for hippies: Is hemp the next coconut oil?

  • News
  • March 25, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
No longer just for hippies: Is hemp the next coconut oil?

The Naturally Good Expo, held over June 2 – 3 in Sydney, will bring retailers, brands and practitioners together to learn about all things healthy, organic and natural. Among the topics discussed by industry leaders at the expo is the recent legalisation of hemp – it’s popping up everywhere. We asked John Leith of supplier Hemp Oz and speaker Susan Tapper of Holistic Marketing Healthy Sales for more information about this exciting new product category.

Read more
 

Military-style semi-automatics ban announced

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • The Register team
Military-style semi-automatics ban announced

As of 3pm on March 21, a wide range of semi-automatic weapons have been reclassified under section 74A(c) of the Arms Act as requiring an E endorsement on a firearms license. This means they can no longer be sold to those with A-category gun licenses, and their purchase now requires police approval.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}