World News:

Pandora let Marketers target only Alexa and Google Home users and this could be interpreted as a signal for two things. The first is that there are plenty of devices out there and the segmentation makes senses. The second is that even if we are in the early stage and use cases are still being worked on, there is an interest from marketers to reach out to Alexa or Google home users. Link (Wall Street Journal)

Samsung released its Galaxy Buds. The wireless earbuds compete directly with Apple’s Airpods and Google’s Pixel Buds. It will be interesting to track adoption as the battle for the ear is in full rage with Alexa having also released its mobile accessory kit. Link (Voicebot)

Google Duplex now available in 43 U.S. states. The widely commented chat agent of Google allowing to book tables at restaurants is now rolling out on Pixel phones in 43 states. The Mountain View company also announce a further roll out to more Android as well as iOS devices in the coming weeks. Link (VentureBeat)

A survey conducted by Sapio Research revealed that more than 80% of CIOs and IT functions in the financial services sector believe that a “Voice First” strategy will be in place within five years. They see a real competitive advantage opportunity by turning voice data into knowledge to serve customers in a more personalized way. Now there is still a long way to go when it comes to implementation. Link (BankingTech)

Amazon introduces the Alexa Developer Rewards program in India in an effort to boost the number and quality of Skills for local Alexa users. Link (Amazon)

European News:

Alexa Rewards now available in France, Spain and Italy. This came two weeks after the Head of Alexa Skills in France mentioned in an interview that monetization was imminent. In Skill Purchase are next? Link (Amazon)

Voxpass, a French startup announced being looking to raise 1.5 m€ in the coming months. The team from Brittany provides solutions for the call center and medical industries that allow optimizing of internal processes thanks to Voice. Link (Atlantique Presse Information – article in French)

Alexis Hue

Alexis Hue

Alexis is the founder of Voice & You, a boutique consulting agency where he advises brands on how to utilize Voice to increase their competitive advantage. Part-time venture capitalist, part-time entrepreneur, and originally from France, Alexis now lives in Berlin.