iHeartRadio adds smart speaker skills to listen in more ways

iHeartRadio adds more ways to listen to their 850 local radio stations, artist radio and more!

We all had a favorite radio station growing up. For me, it’s Z100 in New York City. Even though I now live in Los Angeles, there are still plenty of ways to listen thanks to iHeartRadio. The platform has just about every local radio station you can imagine, plus various other streaming stations, podcasts and more

Recently, I chatted with Michele Laven, President of Strategic Partnerships Group for iHeartMedia.

“Our number one priority is to ensure that iHeartRadio is enabled on every platform where our listeners are expecting us to be,” explained Laven. The company announced lots of new ways to listen in the new year, including a Facebook Messenger Bot, Roku App, Bixby and more. Here’s a look at some of the skills you can use for the latest smart speakers.

Amazon Echo

On Amazon’s Echo, you can now listen to Flash Briefings from On Air With Ryan SeacrestThe Brokaw ReportThe Rush Minute and NBC News Radio.  You can also tune into any iHeartRadio station nationwide just by using the call letters or station name.

You can also wake up to your favorite station. Just say “Alexa, set an alarm to every day at 7 am to KFI on iHeartRadio.” Feel free to set an alarm to the time my tech segment comes on each Wednesday morning around 5:20 AM.

Google Assistant

With Google Assistant, you can now instantly tune in any radio station just by asking for it by name. Laven says Google functionality will be expanded in the future.

“We’re just following you throughout your journey. [You] used to sit in the car and you wanted to hear the end of the story and maybe you sat there in your car just so that you could hear the end of it. You don’t have to do that anymore. You can take your phone with you into the office and then all of a sudden continue to listen from a streaming perspective,” explained Laven.

Jibo

Jibo is a new social robot that gets to know you through facial and voice recognition. Right now, you can ask it to play any iHeartRadio genre, like pop, country or hip-hop music. The best part? It will “dance” as it pumps out the tunes. In the future, Jibo will also be able to tune into specific stations.

If you have one of these smart speakers, give these new skills a spin. Chances are, you’ll discover something you like.

“Music discovery is still primarily on radio. That’s where you discover new artists. That’s where they break their music,” concluded Laven.