Both branded and independent hotels are increasingly adding voice-activated technology to their guestrooms. These in-room assistants can eliminate the middleman between guests and staff members assessing requests, and can even provide guests with information without involving a staff member. Amazon recently announced Alexa for Hospitality, allowing guests to ask in-room Echo devices about hotel information and contact employees to request services. Alexa can also be used for the same actions that guests are accustomed to in their own homes—like playing music.
Hands-free music streaming is a popular feature of voice-activated assistants, and Alexa for Hospitality has partnered with iHeartRadio to connect guests with brand-curated and personal playlists in their hotel rooms. Programmers within iHeartRadio partner with a hotel to create a soundtrack for a brand, which can be played upon a default request—i.e., when a guest says, “Alexa, play music.”
“iHeartRadio’s availability on Alexa for Hospitality means that hotels will be able to provide a personalized listening experience for guests immediately as they enter their hotel room,” explains Jessica Jerrick, executive vice president of business development and partnerships for iHeartMedia. “iHeartRadio has expert programmers who work one-on-one with hotel brands to create a listening experience that matches the hotel’s identity and ethos.”
What’s more, custom playlists allow hotels to impact a guest’s experience with the brand beyond their stay, as guests can continue to listen to the hotel’s playlist after check out. For example, Marriott has created a brand-inspired playlist that guests and music lovers alike can listen to from anywhere, including as a default on in-room Echo devices.
The partnership also allows enhances a guest’s in-room experience by allowing guests to connect their personal iHeartRadio accounts or listen to their favorite content, whether live music, news, talk radio, podcasts, or sports stations from across the country. While the partnership is still developing to reach all the Alexa for Hospitality devices, iHeartRadio has created additional partnerships with Volara and KEYPR for guests listening as they travel. Jerrick adds, “The hospitality industry is a priority for us, and we will continue to work with hotel owners and operators to deploy more stations throughout the year.”
Top photo: Amazon’s Alexa for Hospitality