Wednesday, March 25, 2020

New York Times buys startup that turns articles into audio | Music Ally

It’s not just music streaming services who are excited about podcasts and long-form audio more generally. The New York Times just acquired a startup called Audm, which runs a “subscription-based audio app that offers listeners the world’s best longform journalism, read aloud word-for-word by celebrated audiobook narrators”.

It launched in 2016, and aggregates articles from the NYT but also the New Yorker, The Atlantic and other publications. For now, Audm’s app continues to be available for Android and iOS, where people pay $7.99 a month (with discounts for half-yearly and annual subscriptions).

There aren’t any details available about what the New York Times is planning to do beyond keep Audm running, but it’s a useful sign of how the print-media industry is just as energised about audio as the streaming world. Also, though: the idea that there is value (as in subscriptions value) in people listening to journalism is interesting in terms of the competition provided by free-to-hear podcasts on platforms like Spotify – although with companies like Luminary, the podcast industry does have its paywalls too.

Stuart Dredge


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