How does a slow-mo, monthly magazine keep pace with instantaneous coverage from bloggers and social media? Before the digital revolution, the fashion industry relied on the magazine industry to help them reach customers and communicate credibly about collections. But recently Scottish online subscription fashion mag, the Fashion Fix Daily (FFD) announced a new service breakthrough: immediate, curated audio fashion news blasts using Amazon’s new Siri-like virtual assistant, “Alexa.”
“Audio is the next step in publishing. We are constantly looking for new ways to communicate with our readers. We are thrilled to be at the forefront of such an exciting new platform,” according to FFD’s editor-in-chief Amanda Davies.
Every single FFD article is curated by award-winning UK fashion influencers and bloggers like “Forever Yours Betty,” and “Honey Pop Kisses.” Now, followers are able to search on FFD’s website within the “Echo/Alexa” app, click enable, and listen for free to shared content. And voila! a new more intuitive way to interact daily with your followers.
Not just a virtual assistant, Alexa is also a cloud-based software program. Businesses can use it. But so can you.
All part of a huge trend — lets dub it “fash-o-tainment” — magazines are fusing online and real media, and using artificial intelligence (AI) to increase loyalty from fickle magazine consumers highly distracted by social media; and shifting from standard advertising-charged traditional print formats to unique new internet formats, while focusing on fast, shared, social media appeal. So besides audio-guided content, expect to see:
Miniature Instagram Magazines, custom digital beauty publications, multi-sensory magazines: all part of new attempts to engage you with specialized, rare or newly revamped formats.
Fashion Fix Daily is the first fashion publication in the UK to have voice features, joining Sky, BBC and the Guardian newspaper.
Hearst’s “O, The Oprah Magazine,” embraced this media with “O to Go” on Amazon’s Alexa. Oprah recorded 90 inspirational quote messages to deliver daily to her followers. Esquire’s “Esquire Wisdom” with tips for fashion, lifestyle and relationships, launched on Google voice in June 2017.
Hearst has also developed special ‘skills’ for media partners like Amazon Echo and Google Home devices so the magazines can verbally read content to you. “Elle’s” Amazon and Google skill enables horoscope delivery. “Good Housekeeping’s” Google device skill has tips on stain removal, like “Alexa, how can I get wine out of my beige carpet?”
Nonetheless, traditional businesses and magazines are testing new models, trying to assure relevance with their audience.
For a different audio-related twist, Conde-Nast’s Teen Vogue teamed up with Apple Music for their Volume II music issue, with both partners collaborating to select rising songstresses for the issue’s “Raise Your Voicestory.” Teen Vogue also curated a Volume II soundtrack for Apple Music.
More magazines are sure to adopt voice technology though the future of advertising on Amazon Alexa (hence making $$$), seems uncertain and analysts indicate its potential may be limited because of that.
However by the end of 2017, over 30 million+ voice-powered assistants are estimated to be in American homes. Amazon’s new Echo Alexa voice-controlled hands-free expertly tuned speaker not only has immersive sound, but connects your home tech devices. Just say “Alexa” and Echo responds instantly, helping you shop online, do Web searches, make restaurant reservations, pod-casts, check weather and more.
Other companies like Integrated Electronic Solutions also have very similar smart home and business automation solutions.
But consider this: if you don’t want audio fashion magazines, you can swap them out for some great audio fashion books this holiday season.
All books and/or merchandise is available at amazon.com. Click on title to learn more.
In the Name of Gucci: A Memoir
by Patricia Gucci
Esquire The Meaning of Life
by Ryan D’Agostino
O’s Little Book of Happiness
by Oprah Winfrey
Fashion Fix Daily – www.fashionfixdaily.com
Forever Yours Betty – http://foreveryoursbetty.com
HoneyPopKisses – http://honeypopkisses.com/
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