News Google Assistant Will Read Out Your Custom Newscast

Alfred Osborne
December 9, 2018

It relies on single-topic stories segmented out from newscasts or shows - to contribute to the audio news feed.

The news reports you get from Google Assistant are about to get a whole lot smarter, or so says Google.

Back in August, Google announced a simpler news feature for the Assistant, but that didn't have the benefit of AI recommendations.

However, there were some caveats to this - aside from your chosen station's political leaning, you couldn't really choose the exact kind of news you wanted to ingest on a daily basis, and you were also at the mercy of the station's schedule and ads.

Google calls this the "future of news", one in which users simply ask for the news and are provided with an audio playlist from the sources they care about.

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The company partnered with over a dozen media outlets - including the Associated Press, The Hollywood Reporter and USA Today - to create a prototype that uses Google Assistant to deliver the personalized audio content.

To improve and build out this audio news experience, we've built an open specification, available for news organizations that would like to participate. A limited number of US users will get access to the audio news initially; the company didn't say when it will expand the availability to other users.

Audio news will roll out on Google Assistant in the United States and in English first, and on a limited basis at first.

The biggest advantage from a consumer standpoint is that Google is not allowing any sponsored content in its audio news. Users can skip over any news story they aren't interested in hearing or passively enjoy the content Google chooses. Medium-format stories, on the other hand, can last from 2 to 15 minutes.

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