Newsbeat: The ‘Audio Book’ For Newspapers

We’ve got radio, we’ve got podcasts — but do we have read-alouds of our favorite newspapers? Now we do.

Commuters who don’t have time to read the paper in the morning can download the Newsbeat app from Tribune Digital Ventures then sit back, relax, and listen to newspaper articles be read aloud. The Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, and CNN are among the host of outlets a user can access through Newsbeat.

While the app may seem redundant in a world of TV, radio, and podcasts, Newsbeat is getting stellar reviews. The Verge called it “among the sleekest we’ve seen yet,” and TechCrunch says “the app provides a degree of personalization that generally can’t be found on regular news radio, or really in other apps that provide news content. When they first open the app, users can choose which topics are of interest to them, and which publications they’d like to receive news from.”

What makes Newsbeat different from a podcast is the content. Newsbeat doesn’t summarize news stories, it aggregates articles according to your interests and then reads them aloud. This technique is perfect for commuters who want the quality content of news publications but don’t have time to read each article. Instead of regurgitating the written word as a radio personality, Newsbeat is the written word — only now it’s audio instead of visual.

Perhaps it’s not such a redundant app after all.


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