A common request from voice assistant users is to ask for their favorite station, artist, or song. Others will ask for games like Jeopardy, Akinator, or Rock Paper Scissors. And if you enjoy shows like The Voice and X Factor, then you would have enjoyed the latest iHeartRadio Rising Star Alexa skill that was powered by the PullString Converse voice technology platform and tested for optimal user experience by Pulse Labs.
We’ve had a long-standing relationship with iHeartRadio, including its first iHeartSanta skill, which played Christmas music during the holiday season and let you talk to Santa. So we were pleased to help them launch voice apps for the Macy's iHeartRadio Rising Star Competition.
The fan-based competition invited 25 up-and-coming artists to compete against each other for a chance to perform at the iHeartRadio Music Festival mega concert in Las Vegas this September.
Fans could vote at iHeartRadio.com, via social media, or with their favorite voice assistant during the final round. Voters only had to say, "Alexa, Talk to iHeart Rising Star" or "Ok Google, Talk to iHeart Rising Star." Last year's Rising Star winner, James Maslow (a Big Time Rush alum), guided them through the voting process. Voters could also learn more about each of the finalists, as well as listen to some of their music, in order to choose their favorite.
How iHeartRadio Built Their Voice Apps
iHeartRadio chose to build the Alexa skill themselves using PullString Converse, providing their own design, following our best practices, and launching it on their own. iHeartRadio used Pulse Labs to get usability feedback on the skill, which helped quickly identify a number of opportunities for improvement before the skill was launched.
The voice apps were developed for Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices and took roughly six weeks to create, including Amazon's and Google’s approval process.
It enabled the artists to speak about their backgrounds in their own voice, used the voice of a previous winner to provide instructions, and then captured the votes. The recorded votes were then used as a part of the overall tally to determine the winner.
PullString Converse enables you to build voice applications visually, like a flowchart, rather than writing in a particular computer language. You can build your conversational flows by laying out ready-to-use conversation blocks, customizing them as needed.
iHeartRadio was also able to use other Converse features to make this a unique and interactive experience for their fans. They used our custom audio support to include custom audio recordings of the artists, team collaboration so multiple team members could contribute to the skill, and integrations that enabled them to send the captured votes to their systems for counting.
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