You can now listen to breaking news with Wooshkaa

Staff Writer

Australia-based Whooshkaa has become the first podcast platform worldwide to allow listeners to ‘hear’ the news and more as it appears in a publication.

Partnering with Amazon’s ‘Polly’ text-to-voice service to bring audio of breaking news highlights or full stories, Whooshkaa has added Australian-English voices “Russell” and “Nicole” to its pool of over 40 voices across 24 languages available to publishers.

It has established a strong portfolio of technology and partners including News Corp, Sky News, Fox Sports, Fairfax, SBS, Bauer Media, Huff Post Australia and the NRL alongside a large array of independent influencers.

Developer Christian Carlsson sees increasing opportunity in the field as more publications look towards making their content accessible through the increasingly popular realm of podcasting.

“By integrating artificial intelligence with Whooshkaa’s already-powerful platform, it’s now possible to create a fully automated podcast episode from text in less than 30 seconds – and this is just the beginning,” he said.

The company has led the way with monetisation for podcasters, offering a native Facebook player that allows users to play audio as they scroll through their feeds.

With podcast advertising in the US forecast to grow 25% annually to 2020, listeners prefer ads in podcasts over any other medium. Major brands are taking notice, cementing ongoing podcast advertising into their budgets.

“Custom podcasts, where brands produce audience-first content aligned to their purpose, is the big growth area of 2017,” predicts Whooshkaa’s director of content and marketing Corey Layton.

Whooshkaa recently launched “Best Food Forward” a custom podcast helping new parents understand nutrition through their child’s first 1000 days, reaching #1 on the Apple Podcast Kids and Family chart.

Photo by Hollie Adams for the Australian

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