Tribune's New App Turns Newspaper Stories Into Customizable Audio News Stream
March 20, 2014 at 3:12 PM (PT)
TRIBUNE CO. is getting into the audio news business with a new smartphone app, NEWSBEAT, that will offer audio versions of stories from about 70% of U.S. newspapers, using human voice-overs and text-to-speech.
In addition to the newspaper stories from TRIBUNE's own papers (including the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, LOS ANGELES TIMES, BALTIMORE SUN, HARTFORD COURANT, SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL, ORLANDO SENTINEL, and more) and others, the service will include local traffic and weather to include in the customized stream. Stories can also be rewound or skipped; the audio versions will usually consist of the first few paragraphs of the story, with the rest on the phone screen.
TRIBUNE DIGITAL VENTURES President SHASHI SETH said, "NEWSBEAT offers a new way to experience the best print and online news in a personalized audio streaming format. We've married high-quality journalism from respected reporters and publications with mobile technology to extend its reach and appeal to an audience that is often on-the-go."