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Univision Taps Into Amazon Alexa’s New Spanish-Language Skills for U.S.

Hola, Alexa! Univision Communications is one of the first media companies working with Amazon to roll out Spanish-language skills for the Alexa voice assistant.

Starting in early October, Alexa users will be able to access Univision’s Spanish-language content on Amazon’s family of Echo products, including live listening on all 58 Uforia radio stations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico as well as more than 89 affiliate stations, national news briefs from Univision Noticias, and dispatches from sports network TUDN (recently rebranded from Univision Deportes).

Alexa users will be able to request Uforia stations by name, frequency or call letters. The Uforia skill also offers replays of top Uforia shows such as “El Bueno, La Mala y El Feo,” “Omar y Argelia,” “Raul Brindis” and “Uforia Countdown with Jackie Guerrido.” In addition, the deal also includes daily excerpts from Univision Noticias’ coverage of national news as well as select highlights from TUDN’s coverage of top soccer leagues Liga MX, UEFA Champions League and MLS.

The partnership follows Amazon’s April 2019 announcement of the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) with a new voice model for U.S. Spanish for developers. According to the tech giant, along with the Echo family of devices, Bose, Facebook, and Sony are bringing out Alexa-enabled devices that support Spanish in the U.S. this year.

Univision said the deal is one of Amazon’s “most comprehensive Spanish-language partnerships to date.”

“As the leader in news, sports, entertainment and music for Hispanics, we are thrilled to bring Univision’s audio offerings to Alexa, the leading voice platform,” said Jesus Lara, Univision’s president of radio.

Separately, Amazon on Tuesday announced the Voice Interoperability Initiative together with 35 partner companies — with the notable absence of Apple, Google and Samsung. The program is aimed at establishing interoperable voice services and voice-enabled products that support multiple simultaneous “wake” words. Partners include Bose, Harman, Microsoft, Sonos, Sony Audio Group, Spotify and Tencent.

Amazon has scheduled an event Wednesday, Sept. 25, in Seattle where it’s expected to announce new hardware and Alexa-related products.

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