You’re sitting in your car, the drive will be long – traffic jams are inevitable. What can you do to distract yourself? Good thing there’s now ARD Discover, the voice assistant in your ARD Audiothek. It suggests content such as podcasts, reports or news. You have full control over the programme – and all you need is your voice.
This is Lisa from the morning show – and I’m your croupier for today! You can now choose between two games: the well-known „Only for the honour“ from the Sunday show, in which you can put your knowledge to the test, or the current Easter special. Here, real N-Joy listeners have deliberately sung songs badly for you and let you guess which song they are warbling.
What would you like to play?
Super SEO is a special approach in Voice SEO that we have been investigating. Super SEO relies primarily on implicit invocations, which means that instead of directly opening a skill, the user asks a question, for example, „What’s on TV today?“ – Google will then select an action that best answers that question. How do we get our action to be the right person for certain of these questions?
In the first brainstorming session, we translated these challenges into three thematic areas on which we then brainstormed. In the process, we came up with the solutions outlined here.
We dealt with the first challenge under the keyword „Visualisation of Related Content in Voice“. Our approach was that visualisation of content that is interesting for users works well on many platforms in order to maintain the desired balance between diversity of the offer and overloading the user. YouTube, for example, always shows its.
YouTube, for example, always shows its users related content next to a video that is currently playing. The question for our implementation would be: What could something like this look like in Voice? The second challenge, creating one’s own offers and apps to make oneself independent of other providers, we pursued from the perspective of the NDR listener community.
NDR mentioned that there was a strong listener community and that this was a special focus of NDR. For example, listeners have always been able to contact the presenters directly, now also via their own app, and thus help shape the programme. So our question: Would a voice moment be possible here?
The last of the three aspects addressed by NDR in their briefing was that of discoverability in Google Assistant. During brainstorming, we quickly came across implicit and explicit invocations – and the question: „How can I position my skill in such a way that it is automatically selected and called up by Google when a general request (or a more general question) is made, such as „Tell me about the Brexit!
In the research phase, we further explored the individual thematic fields and developed a separate project approach for each of the thematic fields.
Related Content: ARD Discover
We first analysed the related content of platforms like YouTube. We noticed that this content is usually visualised as a thumbnail: an image as an excerpt from the video, with a text underneath. We then „translated“ this for our needs into an audio snippet, i.e. a highlight of the feature and the title, spoken by a presenter. We prototyped this and, in doing so, explored how long or short a snippet needed to be so that it didn’t become boring but still conveyed enough content. We also identified an advantage of voice in that, for example, you could jump directly to a particular topic in the post with a voice command.
Engaging the community: N-Joy the Game
N-Joy and NDR2 already maintain a lively exchange with their community, so both stations have an app that listeners can use to contact the station if they have a music request, want to take part in a competition or even just want to send greetings.
Here we developed the idea for the content of a community game, where listeners deliberately sing songs badly and send them to N-Joy. These songs can then serve as content for a skill, where other listeners in turn have to guess which song it is.
This topic is definitely still very new – but that’s why it still offers a lot of potential. We found a podcast that talked about the fact that you still have to work on this topic yourself and try it out, because there are no guidelines from Google or anyone else on how to design the skill so that it is called up for general questions.
On 5.4. we presented our results to NDR. „ARD Discover“, as we called the Related Content theme, we showed as an example while driving. The user was offered three curated contents, each with snippet and title, she selected one of them, could then let the contribution play faster and slower or jump to a certain place. She was also given the option to browse the audio library, where she was again presented with 3 snippets.
On the topic of community, „N-Joy the Game“ was created, which gives users the opportunity to play a well-known radio game „Just for the honour“ or a game developed especially for the Google Assistant, in which badly sung songs had to be guessed. In one version, bird calls had to be determined, which can be combined with a hidden message that can only be heard by the Voice Assistant. All games lead into the N-Joy Livestream.
We also presented our results in the area of Voice SEO, which we summarised under the title „Super SEO“, and advised NDR to experiment in this area themselves, as there are no real empirical values here yet. We advised them to create a skill that is specifically tailored to these more general, implicit invocation questions such as:, „What about the Brexit?“ or „What happened in Sweden today?“ etc..