SCA launches smart speaker offering The Locals’ Guide
Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) is utilising smart speakers to reach more local listeners with a new interactive, voice-activated guide, The Locals’ Guide.
The audio business said the initiative is an Australian first.
Brisbane was the trial market for the initiative, and it has since rolled out in the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Mackay, The Whitsundays, Wide Bay Burnett, Darling Downs, Central Queensland and Far North Queensland.
Smart speaker users will have to instruct their device to open The Locals’ Guide. They will then be offered a curation of the best events, family activities, sporting matches and markets in the area.
The local events will be showcased by the users’ local Breakfast announcers. The Locals’ Guide is also available as a podcast across 10 locations on SCA’s new digital platform, LiSTNR.
The platform was created and built in Brisbane by SCA’s head of news and current affairs, Natasha Jobson, and head of The Studio in Brisbane, Jeanna Manifold.
Jobson said SCA is a leader in voice technology, and The Locals’ Guide is a natural extension of its existing news and event coverage across its 99 metro and regional markets. She noted engagement with SCA’s local news content across the smart speaker ecosystem was growing, with 776,000 interactions in 2020 – a 25% year-on-year increase.
Manifold added: “Voice technology is gaining traction in Australia, however the cost of entry has been prohibitive until now. The Locals’ Guide offers advertisers an affordable entry point into the world of smart speakers without the need to develop their own platform.”
Tourism Events Queensland has come on board to promote a series of “Good to Go” events across the state, which Manifold said SCA was thrilled about.
Tourism and Events Queensland chief executive officer, Leanne Coddington, shared the delight, and said events were a key part of the state’s offering.
“Our It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar offers an incredible range of major and destination events that can be enjoyed around the state,” she said.
“We are delighted to partner with SCA to launch this new technology as we continue to seek new and innovative ways to share our messages and get people travelling around the state. Some of Queensland’s most creative and unique events will be on show through The Locals’ Guide, bringing that truly authentic insight to them through locals’ eyes.
“From Roma’s ‘Easter in the Country’, Winton’s ‘Way Out West Fest’ to the Gold Coast Film Festival and the Sunshine Coast’s Australian Body Art Festival, through this partnership we’ll be telling listeners from all around the state about the events that are ‘Good to Go’ in Queensland.”
SCA has collaborated with voice tech company TalkVia to develop the skill and Amazon’s Alexa has worked closely with the team behind The Locals’ Guide to bring it to life. This includes a co-marketing campaign and the development of a “one-shot” which allows users to access the content by simply saying “Alexa, what’s happening in Brisbane?”
The Locals’ Guide will be promoted across SCA’s Hit and Triple M networks, large format out-of-home and via a co-marketing campaign with Amazon.