There is more written content than ever. With the proliferation of blogs, subscription newsletters, online news outlets, and independent publishers, readers aren’t faced with a shortage of content, but the time to engage with written content. Smaller and independent publishers face headwinds when trying to get users to engage with their online content, as time is splintered and choices for engagement are limited.
While it may be easy to pinpoint the problem as ‘not enough time’ the growing popularity of podcasts calls this summation into question. Users don’t necessarily face a dearth of free time, unless they’re required to engage with content only by reading. For publishers, what’s important is making available other ways to engage with written content. When audio editions of written content are made available, user engagement increases.
When Bloomberg introduced text-to-audio versions of its articles on its app, it quickly became the second most popular option after live TV. The larger media outlets knew that users were wanting options for engaging with content, which is why the New York Times acquired Audm, giving them an easy way to turn its longform articles into audio. This acquisition was good for the Times, but it leaves smaller publishers scrambling to find alternative text-to-audio narration tools.
Offering audio versions of written text is a proven way to keep users engaged, but it’s just a start. Text-to-audio narration platforms that provide data analytics about reader engagement allows for the possibility of higher revenue streams.