Tribune's technology and innovation arm Tribune Digital Ventures launches mobile news app Newsbeat, which daily streams audio versions of stories from leading newspapers and news sites, allows listener to choose and personalize areas of interest

CHICAGO , March 20, 2014 (press release) – “Newsbeat” App Delivers Personalized Playlists of the Latest News
Human Voice and Text-to-Speech Technology Delivers Thousands of Stories from Top Newspapers and Websites

Tribune Digital Ventures, the technology and innovation arm of Tribune Company, today launched Newsbeat, a mobile news app that provides audio streaming of roughly 7,000 stories each day from hundreds of leading newspapers and websites. Using a blend of human voice-overs and advanced text-to-speech technology, Newsbeat delivers a personalized newscast experience that is unique for every user. Newsbeat is a free app available for download on iOS and Android devices.

“Newsbeat offers a new way to experience the best print and online news in a personalized audio streaming format,” said Shashi Seth, president of Tribune Digital Ventures. “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.”

Unlike traditional news radio, Newsbeat listeners can access thousands of stories from top newspapers and websites and personalize their experiences by selecting the publications they trust, topics they want featured and prioritize news sections based on their levels of interest. Listeners can also navigate back if they miss part of a story and skip stories that don’t interest them.

Newsbeat is perfect for commuters. The app can be experienced with headphones or paired with Bluetooth systems in cars. By setting the distance between home and office locations, commuters can experience the most relevant and important news stories that fit their preferences and their drive time. They can also receive local weather and traffic updates throughout show segments to stay ahead of possible delays.

When first launching the Newsbeat app, listeners are encouraged to spend a few minutes customizing the experience by setting topics of interest, preferred sections and their favorite publications. They can also specify unique topics to follow, like favorite sports teams, TV shows, and the names of celebrities they love. The result is a unique news experience that can be constantly refined to make Newsbeat more personalized. Over time, the Newsbeat experience gets smarter and more personalized as listeners interact with stories.

Newsbeat provides stories from hundreds of licensed news sources in the U.S., including the Tribune newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and The Baltimore Sun. Newsbeat creates a new distribution channel for print and online news sources, enabling content partners to reach new audiences with attribution. Newsbeat’s advanced text-to-speech technology also ensures breaking news can be delivered in real-time, as soon as it is published by a major news source.

Newsbeat will be supported by audio advertising inserted throughout the news segments. In fact, the very personal nature of the Newsbeat experience offers advertisers a powerful platform to reach the right audiences at the right time with the right message. Tribune will leverage its expertise in print and broadcast advertising sales to build a robust portfolio of national and local advertisers.

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