Google announced that Your News Update is coming to Google Podcasts. This comes after Google launched their smart audio news playlist Your News Update on Google Assistant last fall.
The reason why Google is launching Your News Update is to fix a problem. According to Google, news is the fastest growing category in podcasts. But, it tends to focus on national and broader news topics. It is harder to find on-demand quality journalism at the local-level about things that are personally relevant to listeners.
We want to help bridge that gap with new, intelligent audio news experiences that deliver local stories and more personalized content. We’re bringing Your News Update to Google Podcasts and also making it easier to listen to local news when you ask Google Assistant. Both of these updates will feature new natural sounding text-to-speech voices to make the listening experience more enjoyable.
It sounds like it works rather simply for users. Open the Google Podcast app and navigate to the Explore tab. You can subscribe to Your News Update and listen to a mix of short news stories chosen in that moment based on your interests, location, user history and preferences.
It is an interesting idea, considering how difficult it can be to access local news online. My local newspaper has a paywall that appears to lock off all content to anyone who isn’t paying for a subscription.
Trying to find local news information on social media can be difficult because it can be hard to tell a good news source from one that has a problematic agenda on first glance. Some of the most reliable news sites lock away content behind a paywall, which leaves people with disreputable news sites that spin a news topic in ways that may not be honest or true.
Perhaps the solution to these annoyances is Your News Update. It sounds to me that it can provide to podcast listeners what the local TV news channel used to provide for viewers several decades ago.