Mr. Ritchie may not have woken up on Sunday with the intention to change the world, but change it he did. More specifically, he changed our world – he brought us into the big leagues, pushed us over the edge, rocketed us to superstardom in one fell button-push. (That’s how it feels, anyway.) On March 19th, 2017, thanks to Mr. Ritchie and his daughter, we achieved something incredible: 500 reviews, overwhelmingly positive ones, from 500 different people around the Alexa-owning world. What’s even crazier is that we’ve held above a 4-star rating the entire time.
We’ve been doing review round-ups for a while now, but this one is special. You know how often you take the time to write out app reviews. It’s a rare feat for one of ten thousand skills to be high-enough quality for 20 reviews, let alone 500 – which means we might have something like a kajillion users. Our Alexa audience is one of the biggest and most vocal folks out there! (That’s right, you guys are special.) We’d like to attribute that to how different Earplay is from other voice apps, including four years of research on smooth voice UX, interactive narrative, and high-quality audio. Alexa is pleasant enough to listen to, but nothing can quite replace the emotional impact of the human voice, and we’re thrilled to see that our fans can appreciate the nuance of good audio design.
The incredible folks of the Alexa community have also helped move us towards new ways to use our medium. Many of you mention sharing Earplays with family members, or sitting around the Echo with friends at a party. We’re thrilled to support even more ways to interact with our narratives, and you can expect our future stories to experiment with more than one user, so your BFF can play their own character alongside yours, and your kids can explore new worlds together. Adding more player characters will be technically difficult and take some time, but so has every part of building a brand new platform, and the Earplay team is always ready for the next game-changing challenge.
We’d like to leave you with a long one – even when we’re tooting our own horn, we couldn’t have come up with a vote of confidence like Leslie’s. She’s exactly right: with a new technology like the Echo, corporations jump on utilities and practical applications for profit. But we at Earplay believe first and foremost in advancing humanity’s creative possibilities, on using the “revolutionary” to make incredible new art and dream up transformative emotional experiences. Our voices have been a handy productivity tool since the dawn of man, but storytelling will always be our favorite way to use it.