return Home

Why BBC Good Food is sharing its 11,000 recipes over voice platforms

BBC Good Food, owned by BBC Worldwide and published by Immediate Media, have recently launched a skill on Alexa.

 

Amazon Alexa ()

Photo: Amazon 

 

As global sales of smart home devices continues to grow - research group Forrester expects approximately 244 million smart home devices in the US alone by 2022 - publishers have been jumping on branded skills and generic skills, sharing their content on these new distribution channels. Adoption of voice interfaces including Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple Homepod have been steadily rising. A March 2018 survey by Voicebot.ai suggests adoption of voice-enabled technology has increased to 47.3 million adults in the US in two years. 

Users turn to voice interfaces and content, entertainment and information. They can listen to news, reviews, podcasts, quizzes, and other audio content, make reservations, get prices on products, conduct searches and place orders.

A recent IAB report states voice interfaces are also used for utilities and tasks like hands-free directions.

 

BBC Good Food ()

 

Voice platforms are perfect for magazine media brands like BBC Good Food, whose users turn to it for quick family suppers, fantastic cakes, trusted recipes and cookery skills. Looking at the parctical side, voice interfaces would be extremely useful, especially if a consumer is up to their ears in sticky jam like editor's choice damson crumble and damson jam, or have vegan chocolate chip cookie batter under their fingernails.

BBC Good Food is looking into voice as a platform on which to share its content because it was a good fit, according to Hannah Williams, head of digital. “We’re always working hard to ensure our content remains as relevant and useful as possible for our 20m monthly users,” she said. “Being able to enjoy our recipes hands-free is of enormous benefit to our audience, especially when grappling with a particularly messy recipe. As the user benefit was clear, it felt the right place to be as a business.” 

The magazine, which has a cross-brand reach of 13.9 million and is the UK's most popular food media brand, launched its first Alexa custom skill earlier this month.

“Users can search our entire 11,000+ recipe database, filter by preferences such as diet type or cuisine, hear the full ingredients list and step-by-step method, pausing to set their own pace, all completely hands-free,” Williams said. 

BBC Good Food worked with design and innovation consultancy Hi Mum! Said Dad who built the skill, and worked hard to rethink the whole recipe experience from a voice perspective, Williams said.

“Designing an optimal user experience for voice is very different to visual platforms and it’s safe to say this was uncharted territory for us,” she said.  “It’s still early days and we’ll be looking to iterate further when we learn how our users are interacting with the product.”

 

Amazon Alexa ()

Photo: Amazon 

 

The team will be testing and learning before looking at potential updates later this year, with further iterations planned for autumn.  Williams said it was too early to tell what users like about BBC Good Food voice content, though expects to gain insight as the project progresses. “We’re looking at all other voice platforms, including Google and will look to build products wherever there’s a viable route for us to do so,” Williams explained.

For magazine media publishers, voice as a distribution platform for their content is still in its infancy. Yet, adoption of voice technology, interfaces, virtual assistants, and the interactive voice experience are rapidly becoming a regular part of consumers' lives, according to this IAB report.

For now, BBC Good Food's forays into voice interfaces are exciting and new, with room to expand and space to explore. For publishers looking to experiment with voice platforms, Williams offered, “Wherever you stand on the audience penetration forecasts for voice, it’s clear it will become a disrupting force for publishers in future, so ignoring it is not an option,” she said. “The use case for our audience was clear. I’d say that’s the place to start; with a clear user story and wherever possible, keep it simple!”

More like this

[Congress speaker Q&A] How six initiatives led to stunning audience and revenue growth for BBC Good Food

How voice-activated devices create opportunities for publishers

Empire magazine to publish first ever talking voice-responsive cover

BBC Travel - how multimedia galleries are (not) changing good storytelling

OK Google: how publishers can create voice assistant content

BBC Good Food launches voice skill for Amazon Alexa

  • Taking back trust in journalism through personalisation, new payment models

    The best thing about the prospect of improving reader revenues is that it has the potential to liberate news publishers from the scramble for reach, a model that undermines trust in journalism. To take advantage of this opportunity, digital news publishers need to find better payment methods and discovery tools. These were some of the themes explored during the recent Newsrewired conference in London.

    21st Mar 2019 Features
  • New mobile story formats: lessons learnt thus far

    It is early days for developing new mobile storytelling formats. Despite some successful prototypes, most of the heavy lifting is still about to happen, says Jacob Gjørtz, VP marketing at CCI Europe. Based on what we have learnt this far, brevity, video and AI will be central to what happens next.

    18th Mar 2019 Features
  • Facebook's director of media partnerships on how publishers can work with the platform

    Last year Facebook hired Jesper Doub, who was then CEO of German media giant Spiegel Online, to lead its new media partnership team. In the past the high profile executive has been both a critic of Facebook and a passionate advocate of its Facebook Journalism Project.

    18th Mar 2019 Features
  • How technology is changing content marketing

    There is a lot of discussion within the content marketing, and indeed the publishing industry in general, as to how recent technological innovations are going to change branded communications. Christine Beardsell, chief content officer and board member of C3, and presenter at DIS 2019, is among the figures leading the conversation. 

    18th Mar 2019 Features
  • ‘Pay gates’ perform better than paywalls, proves Swiss news publisher

    A Swiss digital news publisher has found their conversion rate of registered users to paying subscribers has increased by five times since they have altered their approach from building paywalls to creating "dynamic pay gates".

    14th Mar 2019 Features
  • Productivity hacks for magazine editors

    After years of shifts, downsizing, and mergers, some magazine media around the world are feeling the pinch. We're all dealing with strained and sometimes non-existent resources, stretched for time, and tasked these days with doing more with less.

    18th Mar 2019 Features
  • New mobile story formats: lessons learnt thus far

    It is early days for developing new mobile storytelling formats. Despite some successful prototypes, most of the heavy lifting is still about to happen, says Jacob Gjørtz, VP marketing at CCI Europe. Based on what we have learnt this far, brevity, video and AI will be central to what happens next.

    18th Mar 2019 Features
  • How technology is changing content marketing

    There is a lot of discussion within the content marketing, and indeed the publishing industry in general, as to how recent technological innovations are going to change branded communications. Christine Beardsell, chief content officer and board member of C3, and presenter at DIS 2019, is among the figures leading the conversation. 

    18th Mar 2019 Features
  • Facebook's director of media partnerships on how publishers can work with the platform

    Last year Facebook hired Jesper Doub, who was then CEO of German media giant Spiegel Online, to lead its new media partnership team. In the past the high profile executive has been both a critic of Facebook and a passionate advocate of its Facebook Journalism Project.

    18th Mar 2019 Features
Go to Full Site