Paulina Kubala-Chuchnowska holds a position of Marketing Specialist at PressPad Digital Publishing, a company that creates mobile magazine apps, digital newsstands for PDF issues, and...Read more
Voice technology is a rapidly-growing innovation that responds to the changing requirements of mobile app users including readers. This trend is a boon not only for consumers but also for different kinds of businesses. Despite the fact that voice technology has already been present in the publishing world for a long time, we observe a widening interest in it in this industry recently.
If you want to know more about voice technology, see how book and newspaper publishers adopt it, and what are the benefits of using it, read this article.
What’s voice technology?
The biggest technology companies have been investing in voice assistants for years. The beginning of this trend was given by Apple – Siri was invented in 2011. Three years later, Amazon showed the world Alexa, and in 2016 we got to know Google Assistant.
What is the voice technology about?
“We, in fact, speak about the interface, covering multiple software layers, from voice recognition through AI to voice-enabled applications. In fact, voice technology is the combination of IoT (devices and gadgets), AI (services), and UX (interaction) resulting in a hands-free technology which to a great extent still resembles science fiction.”
One of the reasons for voice technology’s growing popularity is the fact that it’s available for everyone and almost every electronic device incorporates it in the form of voice assistants.
According to Forrester Data, over 240 million US families will install smart home devices by 2022 and smart speakers will represent nearly 70% of that figure.
Why have voice assistants become more and more popular?
- Users’ demands changed. Voice technology is something natural for millennial consumers – it gives them a higher level of comfort while using devices. In the evolving digital world, speed, efficiency, and convenience have to be constantly optimized to ensure people the best quality of exploring.
- Voice assistants have the ability to keep the users engaged in conversations and offer other fun activities. People are naturally interested in this kind of interaction.
- Voice technology became easily accessible, anywhere and at any time. Assistants can be in your kitchen as well as in the office conference room.
- Voice technology adoption has accelerated during the pandemic. We are in a situation when touching different surfaces is just dangerous. More safety is to say something than click the button.
Voice technology trends are beneficial not only for consumers but also for businesses including publishing. This innovation is successfully used in industries like automotive, healthcare, hospitality, or the financial sphere. No wonder that it also found its way to publishing houses.
What is the result of this connection?
Voice technology in the publishing industry
You may not realize that voice technology has been already triumphant in publishing for a long time. I am talking about audiobooks and their huge popularity – it’s the fastest growing publishing trend.
Voice technology helps understand and optimize content experiences. Thanks to it, publishers can set up projects which will connect audio experience with written content. For the publishing industry, the rapid growth of voice technology and the consumers’ shift toward voice-driven mobile apps creates a huge opportunity for innovation and growth.
Many readers have already used their voice assistants to find a title that fits their preferences and buy it. If titles you publish aren’t recognized by those platforms, you’re missing out on the opportunity to show them to the readers. As an effect, you lose sales.
See some examples of publishers who have already used voice technology.
How have publishers already used voice technology?
HarperCollins Children’s Books and Their App for Google Assistant
HarperCollins Children’s Books UK launched a mobile app on the Google Assistant for children’s audiobooks, called StoryCastle. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is activated by the voice.
The users take part in an interactive and gamified story. They create a storyline by choosing from several scenarios that lead to different endings. It is a solution dedicated to kids and parents to provide them with a unique listening experience with two new stories every day.
Penguin Random House and Their Good Vibes
Good Vibes is the Alexa app that is updated seasonally when Penguin Random House releases new titles. It provides a daily dose of inspiration through motivational quotes from bestselling books and authors.
Users can listen to as many as three quotes a day, learn more about the featured books, and receive more information and book recommendations via email.
Simon & Schuster and Stephen King Library
Thanks to Simon & Schuster, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant users in the U.S. and Canada can download a free Stephen King Library onto their smart speaker platforms. This tool asks readers about their preferences and then recommends King’s books tailored to users’ reading tastes from a selection of his publications.
Novel Effect’s Educational Value
They launched an Alexa skill which is intended to complement in-person live readings with different sounds. This feature can bring benefits to educational publishers – it introduces listeners to the content of the story they hear or the information they are learning, and has increased reading comprehension and retention. Their goal is to “empower kids and their grown-ups to read, listen, and have fun together every day through storytelling”.
Bloomberg Alexa Skill
This news giant created a solution called Bloomberg Alexa Skill. It read out flash briefings on business, politics, and world news in under three minutes, with no ads. The only thing users should do to have access to this information is to say “Alexa, Open Bloomberg”.
Guardian and the Voice Lab
The Guardian also experiments with interactive audio. They deliver ground-breaking audio journalism, using the Google Assistant platform. The Voice Lab ensures storytelling and delivering journalism through smart speakers and interactive audio.
What are the other ways to use voice technology in the publishing business?
Ensure readers fast answers to their questions.
Many people use voice recognition devices to get fast answers to their questions. You can create the answers to common readers’ questions and make them part of voice-recognition programs. What questions could that be? “Who wrote the book entitled X?”, “What books did X author write?” “When X was published?”
Offer a deeper reading experience.
Go beyond mere audiobooks. Think about sounds that could add to the reading experience and create a soundtrack adjusted to the publication.
Customize your voice marketing strategies.
With the growing popularity of voice search, be aware of your SEO, especially in search keywords. Voice searches are often longer than text searches and the language is more natural and spontaneous. It’s important to plan for questions asked with a natural sentence structure in place.
The future development of voice technology in the publishing industry
The world of magazines and books must be flexible and ready for the arrival of new generations. Publishers must remember that each new generation will be more tech-savvy, will be bored faster, so they will need more spice up to regular text in order to stay with it longer. Their expectations of publishers’ mobile apps are getting bigger.
Today, voice technology integrating into mobile apps has become the hottest trend which will be developing just because voice-powered apps increase functionality, and save users from complicated navigation and allow you to find things more efficiently.
What do publishers need to keep in mind to stay up to date with voice novelties?
- voice search popularity will be increasing same as voice-based ads demand,
- touchpoints with brands will be listening points
- emphasis on individualization will strengthen – voice assistants will continue to offer more individualized experience and they get better at differentiating between voices
- consumers will prefer smart displays over regular smart speakers
- AI-powered functions like far-field voice interaction, facial recognition, hand gesture control, and eye gesture detection will be developed.
I am looking forward to publishers’ solutions based on voice technology. It gives them a range of possibilities.