When Audible wanted to find new ways to engage with its customers, they came to us to develop innovative voice-first possibilities.
The UK revenue from audiobook downloads has doubled over the last few years to reach £150 million. Global revenue is $4 billion, expected to reach $33.5 billion by 2030.
As one of the key players, Audible is constantly striving to maintain its competitive edge in this growing market. The team wanted a long-term partner to help them evolve their content on Alexa devices, uncovering new possibilities for interactivity and storytelling in different contexts. Together we set out to create and maintain innovative Alexa experiences, from recommending relevant audiobooks to immersive voice-driven games.
We embarked on an 18 month programme, developing fresh ideas for Alexa Skills - content that people reach through Alexa.
We wrote scripts for different Skills, which we carefully evolved into rich, mapped-out voice experiences, before moving into rapid prototyping. Once the Skills went live, we developed, iterated and made refinements based on real qualitative feedback and quantitative data.
We worked in two-week design and development sprints, alongside user testing and research sessions. And we brought in rich visual elements to enhance the voice-first experience for the increasing number of Alexa devices with screens.
We have deep technical experience with the Alexa platform, and wanted to push what was possible for Audible. This sometimes meant launching Alexa functionality while it was still in private beta and so slightly unproven. This included In Skill Purchasing for monetisation of content, and a Skill Connections API that let users move seamlessly between Audible’s Alexa experiences.
Every Skill we developed was designed to cope with changing customer needs. Each one was eminently scalable, and could be replicated and managed easily to be used across different titles and brands.
The development was enterprise level, with multiple environments, full automation, high-level security, and monitoring from the very beginning.
Over 18 months, we released a broad range of Alexa Skills. These included Sherlock Holmes: The Great Game, Book Finder, Audible Stories and the Official Harry Potter Quiz, which has more than 15,000 reviews on Alexa.
We have been delighted to prove that there’s huge potential for voice, and an appetite for creating more interactive experiences on Alexa.