Something to keep an eye on, if you work on the technology or advertising side of the business. Google DNI — that’s the Digital News Innovation Fund, a Europe-oriented program that’s part of the Google News Initiative — has been approved to co-fund a €1.2 million open-source project with the German news organization Der Spiegel that’ll last through to 2020.
The project is called the “Voice and Audio Monetization Platform” (VAMP), and its goal is to “deliver and monetize journalistic audio content on a multitude of platforms including voice-based interfaces.”
Here’s the announcement post, but keep in mind that the language is pretty woo-woo and wonky. It’s not entirely clear what this open-source project is supposed to literally produce, nor is it super clear what the specific big strategic bets are, but one thing’s for sure: the driving motive is for publishers, led by Der Spiegel, to establish some control and power in the technological layer of whatever voice-first computing world we’re going to live in a couple of years from now. There are a bunch of ideas and directions discussed in the post — anything from creating a dynamic programmatic audio marketplace to push harder in the direction of text-to-speech executions — and frankly, it’s fairly sprawling.
But hey, if you’re interested in getting involved or keeping a close eye on what our friends in Europe are up to, you should definitely keep tabs on this in case it goes anywhere halfway decent.