Your Alexa Dashboards Settings

Flash Briefing Skill API Feed Reference

A Flash Briefing feed provides audio or text content for a Flash Briefing skill. Alexa either plays or reads the feed contents to a customer. Each Flash Briefing skill can have one or more feeds. The accepted formats for a feed are relatively simple, but there are some basic requirements for each supported format. This topic lists the requirements for a feed, describes the supported formats, and gives examples of each of the accepted formats.

Flash Briefing Skill API Feed Quick Reference

Each feed for a Flash Briefing skill should contain either text content that Alexa reads to the customer or audio content that Alexa plays to the customer. Each feed should meet the following requirements:

Feed endpoints

  • Should be a non-password-protected HTTPS endpoint. For example, https://developer.amazon.com/public/community/blog/feed/flashbriefing.rss
  • Provide content in one of the following formats:
    • JSON (preferred)
    • RSS
  • Must be UTF-8 encoded

Feed format requirements:

  • Provide the format type as a MIME type in HTTP Content-Type header
  • Provide between 1 and 5 unique feed items at a time.
    • If more items are provided, Alexa ignores items beyond the first five.
    • Items are presented in order from newest to oldest, based on the date value for the item. Alexa may ignore older items.
    • Each item in the feed should be unique and should not overlap with content in another feed item.
  • Each item in a feed should contain an audio item, title and description, or a text item, title and description. For audio items, the text element must be present, but only the audio contents will play to the customer.

For audio content items

  • An audio item must contain a HTTPS URL to audio content.
  • The audio content should be 256kbps mono or stereo MP3.
  • Content should not exceed 10 minutes in length.
  • Program loudness for Alexa should average -14 dB LUFS/LKFS.
  • The true-peak value should not exceed –2 dBFS

Your skill may be rejected if program loudness:

  • Is lower than -19 dB LUFS
  • Is higher than -9dB LUFS
  • Exceeds true-peak guidelines

For details on normalizing audio content loudness, see Normalize the Loudness of Audio Content.

For text content items

  • Each feed item is currently limited to 4500 characters, and will be truncated if it exceeds this length. The truncation will occur at the nearest full sentence below 4500 characters.
  • Should be plain text and not contain special characters such as SSML, HTML or XML tags.
  • Should be properly punctuated, short, and easily understood when read aloud. Commas (,) and semicolons (;) result in short pauses. Periods (.), question marks (?) and exclamation points (!) result in longer pauses. Avoid using non-standard punctuation as it could cause TTS issues.

Performance requirements:

  • A feed should be available 24 hours a day/7 days a week. You should contact Amazon at content-skill-submissions@amazon.com in the event of a planned outage. Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), an Amazon Web Services offering, is a good option for hosting a reliable feed.
  • An endpoint must handle at least 1 request per minute.
  • Response latency should be less than 1 second.

Feed Format Details

The following table lists format details for each supported format. Each message should contain the HTTP content-type header specifying the format of the payload. The remainder of the items in the following table describe how each item in a feed should be formatted.

Feed ItemDescriptionRequired?JSON elementRSS element
HTTP Content-Type HeaderIndicates the format of the feed payload.Yesapplication/jsonapplication/rss+xml
IdentifierUnique identifier for each feed item. UUID format preferred, but not required.Yesuidguid
DateIndicates freshness of feed item, and used to order items to be read or played from newest to oldest. Note that older items may not be played or read. This field requires a specific Simple Date Format: yyyy-MM-dd'T'HH:mm:ss'.0Z'. Note that the date should be specified in UTC/Zulu time.YesupdateDatepubDate
TitleThe title of the feed item to display in the Alexa app.YestitleTexttitle
Audio contentHTTPS URL specifying the location of audio content for an audio feed.Yes, for audio feed items.streamUrl element with a value of the URL for an MP3 streamenclosure element with type attribute set to audio/mpeg
Text contentFor text feeds, the text that is read to the customer.Yes in all cases. For an audio feed item, this element will be ignored and can contain an empty string ("")mainTextdescription
Display URLProvides the URL target for the Read More link in the Alexa app.NoredirectionURL link

JSON Message Examples

The following examples show how you would format JSON for the Flash Briefing Skill API.

JSON single audio item example

This example contains audio content that Alexa plays to the customer. The title and link display in the Alexa app.

Content-Type: application/json
...
{
  "uid": "urn:uuid:1335c695-cfb8-4ebb-abbd-80da344efa6b",
  "updateDate": "2016-05-23T22:34:51.0Z",
  "titleText": "Amazon Developer Blog, week in review May 23rd",
  "mainText": "",
  "streamUrl": "https://developer.amazon.com/public/community/blog/myaudiofile.mp3",
  "redirectionUrl": "https://developer.amazon.com/public/community/blog"
}

JSON single text item example

The following example contains text content that Alexa reads to the customer. The title and link display in the Alexa app.

Content-Type: application/json
...
{
  "uid": "urn:uuid:1335c695-cfb8-4ebb-abbd-80da344efa6b",
  "updateDate": "2016-05-23T00:00:00.0Z",
  "titleText": "Amazon Developer Blog, week in review May 23rd",
  "mainText": "Meet Echosim. A new online community tool for developers that simulates the look and feel of an Amazon Echo.",
  "redirectionUrl": "https://developer.amazon.com/public/community/blog"
}

JSON text multi-item example

The following example contains multiple text items that Alexa reads to the customer, and plays an earcon sound between the items. The title and link display in the Alexa app.

Content-Type: application/json
...
[
  {
    "uid": "EXAMPLE_CHANNEL_MULTI_ITEM_JSON_TTS_1",
    "updateDate": "2016-04-10T00:00:00.0Z",
    "titleText": "Multi Item JSON (TTS)",
    "mainText": "This channel has multiple TTS JSON items. This is the first item.",
    "redirectionUrl": "https://www.amazon.com"
   },
  {
    "uid": "EXAMPLE_CHANNEL_MULTI_ITEM_JSON_TTS_2",
    "updateDate": "2016-04-10T00:00:00.0Z",
    "titleText": "Multi Item JSON (TTS)",
    "mainText": "This channel has multiple TTS JSON items. This is the second item.",
    "redirectionUrl": "https://www.amazon.com"
  }
]

RSS Message Examples

The following examples show how you would format RSS for the Flash Briefing Skill API.

RSS single audio item example

This example contains audio content that Alexa plays to the customer. The title and link display in the Alexa app.

Content-Type: application/rss+xml
...

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<rss version="2.0">
  <channel>
    <ttl>30</ttl>
    <item>
      <guid>urn:uuid:1335c695-cfb8-4ebb-abbd-80da344efa6b</guid>
      <title>Amazon Developer Blog, week in review May 23rd</title>
      <description>
        Meet Echosim. A new online community tool for developers that simulates the
        look and feel of an Amazon Echo.
      </description>
      <link>https://developer.amazon.com/public/community/blog</link>
      <pubDate>2016-05-23T00:00:00.0Z</pubDate>
      <enclosure url="https://developer.amazon.com/public/community/blog/myaudiofile.mp3"
		length="12216320" type="audio/mpeg" />
     </item>
  </channel>
</rss>

RSS single text item example

This example contains text content that Alexa reads to the customer. The title and link will display in the Alexa app.

Content-Type: application/rss+xml
    ...

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<rss version="2.0">
  <channel>
    <ttl>30</ttl>
    <item>
      <guid>urn:uuid:42667ad2-0ffd-4f04-973f-732564622d7e</guid>
      <title>Amazon Developer Blog, week in review May 23rd</title>
      <link>https://developer.amazon.com/public/community/blog</link>
      <pubDate>2016-05-23T00:00:00.0Z</pubDate>
      <description>
        Meet Echosim. A new online community tool for developers that simulates the look and feel of an Amazon Echo. With 3D JavaScript animations and Alexa Voice Service integration, Echosim gives users the ability to experience a realistic interaction with Alexa capabilities and skills. Echosim lives in your browser, so anyone, anywhere can access it and test their Alexa skills.
        You no longer need an Alexa device to test your skills. Developers worldwide can use Echosim to experience Alexa.
      </description>
     </item>
  </channel>
</rss>

RSS text multi-item example

This example contains multiple text items that Alexa reads to the customer and plays an earcon sound between the items. The title and link will display in the Alexa app.

Content-Type: application/rss+xml
...
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<rss version="2.0">
  <channel>
    <ttl>30</ttl>
    <item>
      <title>Multi Item RSS (TTS)</title>
      <link>https://www.amazon.com</link>
      <pubDate>2016-05-23T00:00:00.0Z</pubDate>
      <description>This channel has multiple TTS RSS items. This is item one.</description>
      <guid>urn:uuid:b385254e-dc31-4c4a-afc5-0de97e43923c</guid>
    </item>
    <item>
      <title>Multi Item RSS (TTS)</title>
      <link>https://www.amazon.com</link>
      <pubDate>2016-05-23T00:00:00.0Z</pubDate>
      <description>This channel has multiple TTS RSS items. This is item two.</description>
      <guid>urn:uuid:cf093eed-66f2-4dee-bdad-02ff0510194b</guid>
    </item>
  </channel>
</rss>