Google is bringing smart audio playlist Your News Update to its podcast platform.
Between a global pandemic, civil unrest, and the upcoming election, news podcasts are really having a moment. But most tend to focus on national and international topics, limiting access to on-demand audio journalism at a local level. Not anymore, though.
Google is bringing smart audio news playlist Your News Update to its podcast platform, and making it easier to listen via Google Assistant. The feature, introduced in November, turns any Assistant-enabled phone or speaker into a digital broadcasting station, reading stories based on your interests, location, history, and preferences, as well as top news of the day.
“We want to help bridge [the gap between worldwide topics and local reports] with new, intelligent audio news experiences that deliver local stories and more personalized content,” News Product Manager Liz Gannes wrote in a blog announcement. “Both of these updates will feature new natural-sounding text-to-speech voices to make the listening experience more enjoyable.”
Nearly a year after introducing Your News Update on Assistant, Google is expanding its reach to the millions of US podcast users looking for timely and relevant information.
To get started, open the Google Podcasts app and navigate to the Explore tab where you can subscribe to Your News Update. Or simply ask your smart device, “Hey Google, play news about [your city].” If you’re a music fan living in Los Angeles, for example, you might hear a local story on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest announcement, a review of the new Katy Perry album, and a deep dive of the 2020 presidential election.
“This tailored experience is made possible by applying Google News’ deep understanding of news stories to the audio format and personalizing what you hear,” Gannes explained. “This technology enables us to create playlists of stories that are always up-to-date and customized for everyone who’s using Your News Update.”
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