How do I learn more about my station's experience in the NPR Alexa Skill?

Learn more about how your station streams work in the NPR Alexa Skill. 

How do I trouble shoot issues with the NPR Alexa Skill?

  • Make sure the station’s information in is accurate (station name, call letters, https stream, primary stream)

  • If the above is correct, is Alexa having a hard time understanding your call letters? The advice we’ve been given is to say the call letters “naturally”. We’ve found that it works best to add a slight pause between letters W - X - Y - Z.

If none of the above resolves the issue, please submit a ticket and we can follow up.

How does the skill work when there are multiple stations in one market?

When browsing for stations by zip code or city and state within the skill, the station search results are the same as what appears on The skill will limit the results to three options.

What happens when someone first enables the skill?

When a listener says “Alexa, play NPR” for the first time, they will be guided through a welcome flow to choose their station by name or call letters. If they don’t know the station name or call letters, they can choose to browse by zip code or city and state. When the listener returns, the skill will confirm their preferred station and set it as their default. Subsequent visits will take the listener directly to the stream.

How will we ensure that the skill is mapping to the correct station?

Ex: We have the issue where Amazon is mapping our station incorrectly. So in Chicago, you cannot "play NPR" from. DA device because it maps to an incorrect station. We need this fixed, or the new skill up and running ASAP. When will the new skill be launched, and, if far out, can we at least get Amazon to fix their error in the meantime so people in Chicago can access us when they say "Play NPR"?

When prompted by Alexa to choose a favorite station – For example, if the user says Seattle or a Seattle zip. How will Alexa pick the station? Will Alexa then ask the user KUOW or KNKX? If Alexa doesn’t ask – what is the logic?

It will allow the listener to pick. If a listener browses by zip code or by City: Seattle, State: Washington, Alexa will respond: “I found three stations near Seattle, WA. KMKX public radio, KUOW and KEXP. Which one would you like to play.”

Which one of my streams will the Alexa skill play? I want to watch traffic on that stream.

Alexa will play the primary stream you have designated in – the one that plays in the News App, on and NPR One.

What about users who would like to switch between multiple stations in a single market?

Listeners will be able to say, “Alexa, ask NPR to switch (from say ABCD) to WXYZ.”

Will this skill in anyway disrupt our station skill  “Alexa, listen to WXYZ”?

It will not disrupt the station skill. If users have the station skill, they can still call that. We will continue to work with Amazon on how to custom station skills and the NPR top level skill coexist.

If a user wants to switch to another stream by the same station (a stream that is not selected as a Primary stream in StationConnect), how would they ask for it? Can they ask for it? Or does the Alexa skill only provide the one stream that is “designated as Primary” in StationConnect?

Currently, we only support the primary stream.



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