Amazon just made it a lot easier to publish content on one of its Echo speakers, or any other device running the company’s Alexa assistant for that matter. The company opened up its Alexa Skills Blueprints program to the public Wednesday, effectively allowing anyone to create and publish a range of content with the help of a number of templates.
Content creators benefitting from this step include podcasters and other publishers of live and recorded audio. Amazon allows them to simply add their audio and feed Urls to a Blueprint template, which will make it possible for smart speaker owners to request their content with a simple voice command. What’s more, podcasts and other types of serialized, regularly updated audio can be added to flash briefings, so Echo owners can add them to their morning news diet.
Creators can also make their own quizzes, flashcards for language lessons, training routines and motivational messages, as well as a range of stories, all with the help of pre-configured templates. This makes it possible to create interactive audio experiences without the need to know any programming.
There’s even a dedicated template for bloggers and other website owners, which allows them to turn their texts into audio briefings. These templates integrate directly with WordPress, effectively turning one of the biggest blogging platforms into a source for Alexa audio content.
Amazon has already 80,000 skills available for Alexa, and opening the floodgates for everyone to publish their own works to the assistant will likely accelerate the growth of its skills catalog. The next big challenge for the company will undoubtedly be to help consumers actually find the skills they want to use.