Hopefully, that should be more useful than just jumping into whatever your favorite station is playing at that moment. The briefing will start with short stories under two minutes, and then move on to slightly meatier stories up to 15 minutes long. And if you don’t like what’s playing, you can always ask the Assistant to jump to the next story. Google has partnered with media companies like CNBC, The New York Times, and The Washington Post to fill out its library of audio news, and it’s also putting the call out for other English publishers.
Back in August, Google announced a simpler news feature for the Assistant, but that didn’t have the benefit of AI recommendations. Additionally, there wasn’t a way for publishers to contribute their content if they weren’t already included by Google. Amazon, meanwhile, has a similar feature for Alexa devices, dubbed Flash Briefing, that brings together news, weather and other tidbits of information.
By creating an open audio news standard, Google is aiming to go a step beyond Amazon, instead of merely following in its footsteps. But its usefulness will really depend on more publishers climbing aboard and Google’s AI selecting stories you actually want to hear.