At last week’s Amazon Australia media briefing one new continuous news feature was announced triggered by “Alexa Play the News” or “Alexa what’s the news”. As is often the case Australia got this feature about 2 years after the USA did.

This feature will be welcome to Echo speaker and display owners who have a main news source which they like to catch-up on frequently, by listening or watching to several news stories in a row while getting ready for work, making dinner etc.

Of course Echo speakers and displays have long had a Flash Briefing feature but that is different because it strings together brief news updates from multiple news organisations, one after the other.

To use the new feature first you have to select your main news organisation source from the Alexa app under Settings > News > My News Channel.

Then say “Alexa Play the News”, or “Alexa what’s the news” (replace Alexa with your chosen activation word Alexa/Echo/Computer etc).

If you’ve chosen a video news source like ABC News as the source you’ll get a brief update of the most important recent stories, then a national Weather forecast followed by different recent news stories one after the other, auto playing until you tell Alexa to stop. Similarly with other video news sources like Fox Sports News or CNBC.

If you choose an audio news source like Bloomberg or Radio NZ you’ll get a continuous stream of stories read out by their journalists until you say stop.

Is this new feature more likely to make you use an Alexa display more as a news source?