The Washington Post today announced it has started experimenting with audio articles using Amazon Polly, a service that converts article text into lifelike speech. For the next month, mobile users will be able to listen to an audio version of four articles daily across business, lifestyle, technology and entertainment news categories.
“This is a new technology that can give users more choice and better accessibility to our content, so we wanted to create an experiment to dive deeper into the user experience,” said Joseph Price, product manager at The Post. “After a month, we’ll take what we’ve learned about how users engage with this feature to develop our first iteration of a product with Amazon Polly.”
Audio articles in the pilot can be found here on mobile devices and will include a “Listen to this article” button on the article page. After the article has finished playing, listeners will be able to give feedback on their experience.
The Post will explore personalized playlists in future iterations as well as integration with its mobile apps.
The Lincoln Motor Company is the pilot launch sponsor and will present a brief audio ad before each article play.