How Hearst Leverages Voice for a New Kind of Brand Partnership

Turning challenges into opportunities

An interview with:
Chris Papaleo
Executive Director, Emerging Technology
Hearst

Alexa Skills—Amazon's answer to third-party apps for its ubiquitous voice assistant—allows publishers to provide specific utilities for users. For Hearst, this also presents new opportunities for brand partnerships. eMarketer's Sean Creamer spoke with Chris Papaleo, executive director of emerging technology at Hearst, about the challenges brands encounter with voice and how the publisher puts itself in position to benefit its partners. Papaleo was interviewed as part of eMarketer’s June report, "What's Next for Voice Control?: Digital Assistants, Smart Speakers and the IoT."

eMarketer:

How does Hearst approach interacting with audiences through voice technologies?

Chris Papaleo:

We put ourselves in our users' shoes to imagine what is useful and accessible through voice, because smart speaker content does not scale to every category. These devices are in users’ kitchens and living rooms, so our goal is to create content experiences that match these scenarios.

For instance, if a user is looking for a quick way to clean a wine stain out of a cotton shirt, Alexa can surface Good Housekeeping's answer to that question in the moment that they need a hands-free solution. On the other hand, if a user wants to explore issues in national politics, interactive voice answers might not be the best way to get that information.

We can't build a voice product for every Hearst brand, but everything we do—including brand partnerships—expands our reputation.

eMarketer:

What metrics help you understand how users interact with your voice skills?

Interview conducted on May 2, 2018

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