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McClatchy Launches Text-to-Speech Audio Feature Across Its 30 Local News Sites

News content is now more accessible with the click of a play button

McClatchy launched a text-to-speech audio feature that will offer readers the option to listen to news content produced by its 30 newsrooms across the country. This is part of McClatchy’s strategy in the audio space, which includes initiatives in smart speakers, audio search and podcasts. McClatchy is the first local news media company with a national reach to launch text-to-speech technology.

The new Artificial Intelligence (AI) audio feature integrated across McClatchy’s digital news sites uses technology to dynamically convert written content into an audio file accurately and virtually instantaneously. The text-to-speech service was tested on two McClatchy news sites over three months with significant positive customer feedback. The results from The Sacramento Bee and The News & Observer showed an increase in user engagement online including a 168% increase in time spent on the news site, an 89% increase in story page views and a 95% increase in visits per user.

An easy-to-locate play button is positioned under every article headline, offering readers an effortless way to listen to news with one click.

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“At a time when consumption of digital audio is stronger than ever, we’re excited to roll out this new audio feature to our customers to enhance their news experience and give them the ability to listen to local journalism where and when they want it,” commented Jessica Gilbert, senior director of product and experience. “In addition, the integration of this technology across all of our sites will drive advertising revenue.”

McClatchy has partnered with Trinity Audio on this initiative.  Its technology uses AI and Machine Learning to generate an audio version of articles in seconds and also inserts advertising on a revenue share basis.

“We’re excited to take our partnership with McClatchy to the next level and help turn their readers into listeners,” commented Ron Jaworski, co-Founder and CEO of Trinity Audio. “Partners such as McClatchy, help lead the audio revolution in the media landscape. They understand that audio is becoming mainstream and are always striving to improve the user experience of their audiences.”

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McClatchy operates 30 media companies in 14 states, providing each of its communities with strong independent local journalism in the public interest and advertising services in a wide array of digital and print formats. McClatchy publishes iconic local brands including the Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, The Charlotte Observer, The (Raleigh) News & Observer, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. McClatchy is headquartered in Sacramento, Calif. #ReadLocal

Trinity Audio is an audio content solution that caters to publishers and content creators of all types and sizes around the world and helps them take part in the ongoing audio revolution by turning readers into listeners, creating the experience modern audience is expecting today. Founded in 2018, the company is part of Somoto (a publicly-traded company in the TLV stock exchange), with a core mission to bring value to all three pillars of the content ecosystem: publishers, users, and advertisers through a unique ConTech (content and technology) solution. The technology instantly converts content from text to audio with the most natural sounding voices, continuously learns listeners’ behavior and seamlessly integrates ads into their experience.

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