The Washington Post expands accessibility to AI-read newsletters, enhancing user experience through audio

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The Washington Post today expanded its audio experience by offering subscribers the opportunity to listen to its three policy newsletters, renamed Early Brief, Health Brief and Tech Brief, via AI-read audio. The newsletters also debuted AI-generated audio ads featuring launch sponsors Solventum and PhRMA.

Digiday spotlighted this development, which builds on the publication’s investments in audio as a vital part of the user experience on our platforms.

“The audio versions of the newsletters are available by clicking through from the emailed newsletters to The Post’s site — but the focus for the initiative is the experience of listening to the audio in the Listen tab in The Washington Post’s app, which debuted last November, said Renita Jablonski, The Post’s director of audio. The tab allows users to create a playlist of audio offerings from The Post, such as podcasts, morning briefings and other articles.

Jablonski said The Post has 4 million audio starts on its owned and operated platforms on a given 30-day average, with almost 90% of those originating from its app — the majority of which are audio articles. The publisher’s average daily audio listens have doubled since the end of last year, a spokesperson said.

Seventy percent of audio users are listening to Post journalism from start to finish, and about one-third of subscribers listen to The Post’s audio content in the app two or more days a week, they added. (The Post also launched a subscriber-only podcast feed in Apple Podcasts in January, which includes curated audio articles.)”

The Post has also recently released new podcast offerings for users: In March, Washington Post Opinions debuted “Impromptu,” conversations with Post columnists about the latest news and cultural debates inspiring their columns. That month, The Post also debuted “The Campaign Moment,” a weekly podcast by veteran political reporter Aaron Blake inspired by the popular newsletter of the same title. In 2023, The Post launched “Try This,” a series of snackable lifestyle courses, consistently ranking in the top 10 podcasts in the Self-Improvement category on Apple Podcasts. The podcast recently presented its second course, focused on friendship.

Most recently, “Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop” and “Post Reports” were honored with Peabody Awards this year. Senior audio producer Martine Powers was named Best Podcast Host in The Podcast Academy’s 2024 Ambie Awards for her work in “The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop.”

To listen to more Post journalism, discover additional shows here.

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