03 OCTOBER 2019 (TORONTO, ON) – GRAMMY®-nominated recording artist K.Flay recently launched the first-ever “microcast” (a podcast broadcast shorter than 10 minutes) designed specifically for smart speakers (Amazon Alexa and Google Home). A first of its kind for the music industry, listeners can access the show by asking Amazon’s Alexa to “Open K.Flay Show” or by asking Google Home to “Talk to K.Flay Show.” Produced by PopCult Worldwide, a cutting edge producer of Audio Entertainment Marketing, it is also the first personality-driven programming distributed by SpokenLayer, the leading provider of voice content for virtual assistants and connected devices.
The microcast, titled “what am i doing here,” hosted and curated by K.Flay, who is currently on a worldwide tour, was developed to support her latest album release, Solutions. Each microcast strives to answer the geographical and philosophical question, “what am I doing here?” Equipped with a mobile recording studio including high-quality microphones for her iPhone, apps for recording phone calls, and more, "what am i doing here" is recorded 100% live. The microcasts feature conversations, jokes, musical interludes, as well as special guests including Sam Harris (X-Ambassadors), Bishop Briggs, and Zac Carper (FIDLAR), among other friends and family. Whether K.Flay decides to record in a supermarket, the tour bus, or on the phone with her mom or kindergarten-aged niece, the microcast transports the listener into the world within her smart-speaker vs. standard studio recordings.
All episodes of “what am i doing here” are produced by PopCult Worldwide, who facilitated the technology and the partnership between Interscope and SpokenLayer. PopCult partners Dennis Scheyer (DTM Radio Networks, Scheyer/SF, Zynga) and Lars Murray (former Pandora, Sony Music, Virgin Records) teamed up in 2018 to provide content and technology development services to an audio market that is rapidly evolving beyond podcasting and radio, propelled by smart assistants and streaming technology.
The short-form voice technology that powers the microcast is provided by SpokenLayer, who work with many of the world’s top media companies to produce, distribute, and monetize their voice experiences. Various brands also engage SpokenLayer to reach audiences in voice at scale through voice sponsorship and microcasting. Based in New York City, they work with media companies like Gannett, McClatchy, Hearst, GateHouse Media, Condé Nast, and Meredith.
“K.Flay is an innovator in the space and feels it’s important to provide this unique content everywhere her fans are listening via voice assistants, given their current prevalence and their future potential for growth in the home, the car, and on mobile,” said Lars Murray, Partner at PopCult Worldwide. “PopCult knew that in tandem with Night Street / Interscope and SpokenLayer, she would be inventive enough to make the technology her own as a way to expand upon her artistic vision and ensure her fans were along for the ride. ‘what am i doing here’ is an important milestone, a statement of artist identity in a world beyond screens.”
“Given what I’ve learned about the millions of people who engage with smart speakers daily, I’m excited to be the first musician to host a microcast,” said K.Flay. ”As an artist, I’ve always looked towards the future, musically, visually, and now technologically. Given my love of the traditional podcast, I felt it was the logical and creative next step to share another side of myself with my fans via the microcast. The quality and artistry of the shows, coupled with the ease of the smart speaker access, gives me another medium with which to speak to my listeners.”
“Voice content marketing is the future. Industry leaders predict 75% of U.S. households will own smart speakers by the end of 2020, and device ownership grew 78% just last year. Every smartphone, connected car, and connected home utilizes this technology, and there is a wealth of opportunity in the medium,” said SpokenLayer Founder, Will Mayo. “We are happy that K.Flay embraced this data to become the first recording artist to use the opportunity to the benefit of all her fans and create a microcast geared just towards smart speakers.”
Each episode of “what am i doing here?” is available via smart speakers for a week before being archived on YouTube. To listen to past episodes, visit here.
The full series will be released on all major podcast platforms shortly.