Rethinking Audio: Michael Mellody and Liz Gannes, Google News
The rise of virtual assistants increasingly allows us to be informed, enlightened and entertained when our hands and eyes are busy. Demand is high: home assistants commanded a 40 percent year over year growth. Increasingly, people want news through these mediums, throughout the day – especially in peak morning (6 am-11 am) and evening and commute hours. Google is entering into partnerships with publishers to provide a playlist of news stories based on what is trending , along with interests and location. They also are building a directory for podcasts, which they will be able to query via search. Questions abound: Is someone aways listening? Will news be clearly sourced? Will Google audio news help or further hurt the revenue models of news publishers? Will personalization of news feeds only further contribute to polarization and filter bubbles?