Alexa for Video Publishers | Amazon Appstore Developer Portal

Alexa for Video Publishers

Help your customers find and consume video content through Alexa

Customers are increasingly using voice interfaces as a hands-free way to manage their lives. And, Alexa is always getting smarter: Now customers can simply ask Alexa to play a favorite show, launch an app, or control playback, all without having to pick up the remote.

Alexa for Video Publishers lets you build experiences to help your customers easily find, consume, and control that video content using just their voice. You can now reach customers on more than 100 million Alexa-enabled devices like Echo Show and Amazon Fire TV, allowing them to simply “ask” for your content.

"There is no future that doesn’t have ambient computing or voice activation.” – Mark Cuban

As voice commands become ubiquitous, customers increasingly expect a hands-free method for completing manual tasks, such as finding and launching TV shows and movies. In addition to improving this customer experience, Alexa for Video Publishers allows you to increase the KPIs that matter most to you. 

Video publishers in multiple countries are already taking advantage of the benefits of Alexa, including expanding the reach of their content and driving deeper engagement.

With Alexa, you can improve...

Discoverability

Get discovered each time a customer searches for relevant genres of content or specific shows and movies.

"Alexa, find dramas"

Launch Speed

Manually typing movie titles can be frustrating. Instead, launch customers directly into a video from the device home screen through deep linking.

"Alexa, play Bosch"

Customer Control

Give your customers the control to pause, play, rewind, fast-forward and even switch between live TV channels, even when they can't find the remote.

"Alexa, rewind 5 minutes"

Enabling Alexa for video content

There are several techniques to take advantage of the benefits of Alexa, such as Voice Skills Kit, Media Session API, and in-app voice selection and scrolling. Each option requires different levels of app development effort and gives your customers varied levels of voice control within your content.

The Voice Skill Kit is the most advanced, allowing your customers to ask for voice commands that launch apps, search for content, and more. The Media Session API gives customers playback control, such as rewind, once they are already watching the video. Finally, in-app voice selection and scrolling enables customers to use voice instead of the remote control's directional keypad, which enables scrolling right, left, up, and down.

Video Skill Kit

The Voice Skill Kit (VSK) gives customers the power to use natural language commands to both find your content and control playback within the content. Not only will your app show up when a user searches for it specifically, but it will also show up when users search by genre or for specific shows. This allows you to reach more users who may not know about your brand or content offerings.

Customers can also launch your app, control media playback, change the channel, and more, eliminating the need for a remote.

At this time, we are only able to publish apps with VSK from selected developers. We expect to enable all developers to take advantage of this capability in the near future. Please stay tuned to find out when you can publish.

Learn more about the video skills kit for Fire TV  or Echo devices >>

Prerequisite: Ingest your content catalog.

Create a video skill in the Alexa developer console.

Create a Lambda function on AWS and associate the video skill to it.

Handle each of the incoming directives that Alexa sends to your Lambda and teach your customers how to use voice commands.

Media Session API

The Media Session API gives customers control over their in-app experience with playback controls via voice. Customers can say commands such as "Play," "Pause," "Rewind," etc. while they are watching content. These commands work in both near-field and far-field devices.

Media Session will not let users perform the more advanced voice controls as described with the Video Skills Kit. Learn more >>

In-app voice selection and scrolling

In-app voice selection and scrolling enables customers to use voice when scrolling right, left, up, and down. This is a feature that Amazon manually activates on the back-end after ensuring that the app can support the commands. Amazon is gradually increasing the number of apps with scrolling and selection enabled. Learn more >>