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Okay Google Where Is the news: The future of voice and news media

Okay, Google Where Is: Voice for news is one of the trends that is expected to rise significantly in use, as it appears again and again in expert forecasts for 2019.

Okay, Google Where Is: Voice for news is one of the trends that is expected to rise significantly in use, as it appears again and again in expert forecasts for 2019.

"Voice" refers to the technologies that are activated for audio, where the user's spoken command controls the process. Consider asking Google to order more paper towels online, or ask your iPhone's Siri assistant to tell you when.

Users interact with voice-enabled technologies through smartphones and smart speakers, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo

Using programmed and recognized commands, users can direct a voice assistant to control other devices such as smart lights in your home, your TV or even a kitchen sink.

While smart speakers are new to some, they generate mixed feelings for publishers with news media content.

Peter Miller, CEO of NewsMediaWorks, said: "Voice has the potential to be a powerful medium for the media as long as it is properly formatted, news content, and news content that publishers can invest."

"The alternative is to amplify all the problems we are already seeing through the news that has not been obtained from a source in the filter bubbles."

Okay Google Where Is


Voice is a two-way street, where the user issues voice commands ("Ok Google, what are the headlines?") And the program responds ("The latest news in Australian policy is ...").

In this two-way interaction, the latter offers both opportunities and concerns to the media.

Many media brands have already jumped on the audio train, from the New York Times to Al Jazeera, Bloomberg Media to The Washington Post, but others in the industry still question the risks to existing media structures.

As Michael Miller of NewsCorp argues, the explosive growth in sound is increasing the pressure on publishers to bend the whims of digital giants such as Google.

"The way the technology giant is realizing its intentions shows how to exploit its market power selfishly," wrote NewsMediaWorks chairman and CEO of NewsCorp Australasia Michael Miller to The Australian.

These measures, he says, “highlight why regulators in the US, Europe, and Australia are now focusing on creating a fairer and more equitable digital scene.”

“It's a way for Google to drive consumers out of publishers' websites and radio stations - and keep them in the Google ecosystem.

"Google wants publishers and broadcasters to help build this new work by giving away free audio content without any commercial agreement to share its benefits." In Australia, these concerns are already discussed through the ACLC Digital Platforms Inquiry, which you will play through in 2019.

Effects on consumers

Publishers are not alone in the impact of sound technologies: consumer privacy advocates are quite concerned.

A placeholder program always listens to the "alert word", which tells the program that the user wants to issue an order. Are you comfortable with the idea that a smart speaker listens to every conversation you have? This will be a debate we will continue to face, and we are already facing in the context of smartphones and other devices.

One development to address this is the introduction of low-energy alert words, but work continues to ensure that privacy remains intact.

For anyone with a strong tone, speech barrier or even just a sore throat, using an intelligent speaker can be very frustrating, and there are real concerns about accessibility.

Approach with caution


Smart headphones and audio are unlikely to be trends that publishers and marketers can ignore, and many are already preparing to ride the wave and learn to use these new technologies to their advantage.

Audio-enhanced content from trusted media brands will provide new opportunities for advertisers to place audio ads in premium environments. 

In addition, the media is something that users care about using the smart headset. According to NPR & Edison Research's Smart Audio report, news and current affairs are second only to music as a category of audio that users want to hear.

But be prepared for responses, too, especially from media organizations and media publishers, who are tired of using and abusing content by digital giants.

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