SCA invests in AI company Sonnant to assist with spoken-word content discovery

Staff Writer

Pictured: Sonnant CEO Tony Simmons

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has become an early-stage investor in Melbourne-based Sonnant, which it said is a “transformational artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) company that provides content discovery for the spoken word”.

The audio company said its in-house technical capability will be enhanced by Sonnant’s AI intelligence, which will provide an in-depth understanding of SCA content allowing for rich meta data and new user experiences.

Sonnant will be a key part of SCA’s new digital platform, LiSTNR, particularly with regards to building personalised experiences for each user via discovery and recommendations, based on the topics they most enjoy listening to.

SCA’s head of digital and innovation, Chris Johnson, said the partnership with Sonnant demonstrates the company’s commitment to delivering engaging digital products and building the technical capabilities that power market-leading platforms.

“SCA is a proud supporter of the Australian entrepreneurial ecosystem, so when we found a company of Sonnant’s calibre in Melbourne, we knew that an investment partnership would provide significant long term value to both parties,” he said.

“We were delighted when Sonnant’s tech outperformed several ‘off the shelf’ products we pitted it against in testing. Even better that they were right in our own backyard.”

CEO of Sonnant, Tony Simmons, said he is very excited to work with SCA to create even better listener experiences and a high degree of engagement.

“Technology now allows us to do things with the spoken word that was merely science fiction a few short years ago. Sonnant has long recognised that the consumption of audio, especially the need for better audience discovery of relevant content with podcasts, can greatly benefit by our exacting AI processes.

“Importantly, by applying Sonnant’s machine learning, SCA will reduce manual processes and SCA customers and advertisers will experience more precise results in a shorter period of time.”

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