Tribune Digital Ventures launches first app: Newsbeat, iPhone app that reads the news
The first app to appear under the developer account of the start-up Tribune Digital Ventures has launched. Newsbeat is an iPhone that delivers news via feeds, but its differentiator is that the app reads you the news.
Tribune Digital Ventures was launched in May of last year when Yahoo and Google YouTube veteran Shashi Seth joined to become president of the Silicon Valley based venture. “We want Tribune Digital Ventures to have a start-up mentality, an entrepreneurial spirit and tremendous freedom to operate,” Tribune CEO Peter Liguori said at the time. Newsbeat is the first product launch resulting from the new division.
The app aggregates news from the Tribune Company’s own newspaper properties, as well as other sources such as CNN, Fox News and NBC News. Ironically, many of these news sources, the Tribune owned newspapers, will be spun off some time this summer. Even with the spin off, the news sources will remain as Tribune Digital Ventures is paying for access to the content.
The twist here, versus other news aggregator apps, is that Newsbeat will read you the news. Most stories are read by a computer voice, though a few are read by the announcers with the decision made on which stories are important enough based on interest among users.
“Newsbeat offers a new way to experience the best print and online news in a personalized audio streaming format,” Seth announcement for the app. “We’ve married high-quality journalism from respected reporters and publications with mobile technology to extend its reach and appeal to an audience that is often on-the-go.”
The new app will attempt to monetize its development through audio ads that are inserted occasionally into the news stream. As the app can pair with Bluetooth systems, the effect will be sort of like radio.