Google took audio one step into the future by introducing Your News Update, a way to listen to news hosted by the Google Assistant. Think of the feature as a personal news audio list.
The announcement, made Tuesday, allows Google to analyze what is said in the audio file.
Then technology applied to the file allows Google to get a better understanding of content within the text articles, how news stories evolve, how topics link together and what might be most relevant to a particular user’s interests.
It's not clear whether this analysis will allow Google to further personalize the content and news pushed into the Your News Update, or whether the data will one day be used to target a consumer with an ad -- especially after Google removed content categories as a targeting option in real-time bidding requests for buyers participating in its advertising auction in an effort to protect user privacy.
Personally, I have become a major cheerleader of audio books. It’s one way I can get through a book a week and enjoy working out or driving long distances in the car. I took a personal challenge by reading a book and then listening to the same book in an audio format and found that since I read every word and then digest its meaning, I can get through listening to an audio book much faster with a higher degree of comprehension than I can by reading it.
Google launches the audio news feature with a variety of publishers from around the world, including CBS Local, CNN, The Daily Beast, Al Jazeera, Associated Press, Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Your News Update is available in English in the United States, but Google plans to launch the feature internationally in 2020.
Users can find Your News Update in Assistant settings under the “You” tab.