The Washington Post today announced it has started experimenting with audio articles using Amazon Polly, a service that converts article text into lifelike speech. Unlike those robot-read youtube videos that simply read other papers articles, in order to scrape up easy AdSense money with little effort, Amazon Polly sounds quite a lot better. For the next month, mobile users will be able to listen to an audio version of four articles daily across the business, lifestyle, technology and entertainment news categories and they are available here.
“This is a new technology that can give users more choice and better accessibility to our content, so we wanted to create an experiment to dive deeper into the user experience,” said Joseph Price, product manager at The Post. “After a month, we’ll take what we’ve learned about how users engage with this feature to develop our first iteration of a product with Amazon Polly.”
Listening to news is very useful in several scenarios, when commuting, when at the gym, and so on. This could be a huge leap forward for the Washington post in supplying the news to people who are always on the go. They will in the future make playlists available, where the reader - er, listener - can select the type of news they want. Amazon Polly provides 47 high-quality text-to-speech voice options and is part of Amazon Web Services (AWS).
“As we’ve seen in the growth of our podcasts and offerings on Alexa, audio is an increasingly popular choice for news consumption,” said Joseph Price, senior product manager at The Washington Post. “With Amazon Polly and voice articles, we’re excited to give users more control over how they choose to engage with our content and to increase the accessibility of our site and apps.”