The boom of “audible news”

At the moment, the dissemination of news in auditory mode, not necessarily formal and specialized podcasts, is the trending and innovative model that’s broadly widening in our era of digital communications, due to the change of user habits.

Just like smartspeakers’ technologies allow users to have a dialogue with audio-assistant bots, such as Alexa or Siri, and request for music, data, or answers to curious questions, so have been developed some exclusive applications for digital media, such as the one owned by the Danish magazine Zetland, to interact with its users via audio.

I’m telling you that this magazine has revolutionized the communicative models, by vocalizing all of its digital texts and reaching greater audiences than it ever had. For this purpose, they’ve created a smartphone application from which it’s possible to read all the news in this manner, through a very user-friendly interface.

Sara Altfort, in charge of the new audiences of the magazine, explains the process: “we’ve decided to create the best possible user experience for our main content in audio format. We’ve developed an application where our articles are available both in a readable and audible version, being the latter the go-to when you’re, say, driving to work or washing the dishes. We started reading a selection of our articles out loud, and during the summer of 2017, Zetland began publishing all of its articles as audio.”

More than anything, audio formats are being used in different media to narrate the origins of a story, the must-know aspects that users shouldn’t oversee, possible consequences and even testimonies of the public.

This is what The Washington Post proposes for its new weekly podcasts, as explained by those responsible for the project. “The idea is to tell you the main news of the day and explain what’s behind them, why things happen.” For this purpose, they bring protagonists and experts as guests for the audio narrative, as well as several journalists from the Post who’ve participated in the news hunt.

As Altfort seconds this model, she explains: “we have no ads or breaking news. Instead, we aim to explain why something has happened, as in anything they need to know. We also emphasize in informing about solutions, because we believe it’s essential for a meaningful and constructive public conversation.”

– Translated from Spanish by Randy Rodriguez.

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