Apple will release written news as 'Spoken Edition' podcasts on iTunes

With the growing popularity of podcasts and audiobooks these days, it appears that Apple is planning to offer a similar way for users to listen to written news articles. As part of new feature coming to iTunes soon, "Spoken Editions" audio podcasts will offer spoken word versions of written articles from a wide variety of news sources. Much like how Amazon's voice assistant Alexa is capable of reading news headlines and other information via the Echo speaker, being able to listen to the news frees up users to do other things at the same time.

The audio isn't officially available just yet, but a selection of Spoken Editions from Time, Wired, Forbes, and several other outlets were briefly seen on iTunes on Friday before getting pulled by Apple. It's believed that Spoken Editions are scheduled to roll out in early October, likely with many more partnering publications.

TechCrunch was one of the first to spot early iTunes leak, and discovered that the file descriptions say they were created by SpokenLayer, an existing service that already converts written word into audio formats for a number of media brands, including Reuters, Huffington Post, Time, and Forbes.

It's likely that Apple's Spoken Editions will include audio ads, just as SpokenLayer already does, which makes up for the revenue lost from a declining readership. While we don't know Apple's full plans for Spoken Editions just yet, they seem like they could also be integrated with Apple News and even the Apple TV.

SOURCE TechCrunch