News publishers and developers making Alexa skills can now create Flash Briefings in the United Kingdom and Germany. Flash Briefings are different from an Alexa skill to control smart devices or play music — they are pre-recorded audio clip or text-to-speech updates that can draw from RSS feed content.
Today many major news organizations in the United States have an Alexa Flash Briefing. Flash Briefings are available from outlets as varied as Fox News to NPR. Flash Briefings from several bloggers, podcasters, local TV stations, and newspapers can also be found in the News category of the Alexa Skills Marketplace.
“A number of content providers in Europe have already built Flash Briefing skills, including Der Spiegel, Tagesschau in 100 Sekunden, and WeltN24 in Germany and the BBC, Sky News, and The Guardian in the U.K.,” Amazon voice and AI evangelist Dean Bryen said in a blog post.
The Flash Briefing news announced today comes as Amazon continues to deepen Alexa access in the United Kingdom and Germany.
In the fall of 2016, Amazon began its expansion outside the United States by making Amazon Echo and other devices available for sale in Germany and the U.K. The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) for making skills were also made available at that time.
Last month, Alexa Voice Service (AVS), which allows product makers to put Alexa inside their devices, was made available to developers in the U.K. and Germany.