CBS, NBC, Hulu, Showtime and PlayStation Vue apps can now be controlled by Amazon Alexa

Star Trek Discovery
“Alexa, play Star Trek Discovery on CBS All Access” is now something Amazon's digital assistant will recognize. (CBS)

An important voice in the digital assistant wars has expanded her vocabulary. Amazon Alexa is now integrated with the CBS, NBC, Hulu and PlayStation Vue apps on Fire TV.

The support, which also includes apps from Showtime and Bravo, was revealed this week and will allow users to use voice to search, control playback and change the channel within the app.

The functionality works by having an Amazon Echo paired with a Fire TV device, or through the Alexa voice remote or the Fire TV remote app.

Sponsored by IBM

Webinar: Delighting Viewers with Content: Cloud Enabled Remote Production

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 | 12pm EST / 9am PST
IBM Aspera's multi-cloud roots enables broadcasters to move terabytes of video content at maximum speed, allowing production teams around the world to co-create, untethered by location. Hear how Fox Sports delighted millions of Super Bowl LIV and 2019 FIFA World Cup viewers by producing more content than ever, delivered to viewers across broadcast and web devices alike.

In a blog post, Fire TV product marketer Heather Dawson outlines a handful of phrases that can be used within individual apps as well as some more general commands that can control video content.

“Alexa, pause.”

“Alexa, fast-forward.”

“Alexa, fast-forward 5 minutes.”

“Alexa, rewind.”

“Alexa, rewind 5 minutes.”

“Alexa, play.”

“Alexa, next episode.”

“Alexa, last episode.”

“Alexa, start over.”

“Alexa, play from the beginning.”

RELATED: Dish begins promoting its Alexa integration into Hopper service

The new additions to Amazon’s Alexa video control integration arrive after earlier this year Amazon announced the addition of the Video Skills API to the Alexa Skills Kit.

“The Video Skill API is available at the same top level that Alexa uses to build video experiences on Fire TV. This means your customers can open their favorite app and then use their Amazon Echo or other Alexa device to issue commands like ‘Alexa, find comedies,’ ‘Alexa, tune to HBO,’ or ‘Alexa, play episodes of Modern Family.’ Customers can see the commands fulfilled instantly on their preferred streaming video devices,” the company wrote in a blog post.

Last year, Amazon expanded Alexa capabilities to allow it to search across multiple apps including Netflix. At that time, Amazon also added the Alexa control commands to its Amazon Prime Video app.

Suggested Articles

It’s been almost a year since we last broke down the timeline for price increases at YouTube TV, AT&T TV Now and other virtual MVPDs.

Sling TV is responding to new price increases from competitors YouTube TV and fuboTV by offering its subscribers a one-year rate guarantee.

Peacock has reached a deal with ViacomCBS to carry CBS and Showtime series along with Paramount films when it launches.