Issue 170,  published July 24, 2018

How Publishers are Staffing Up for Smart Speakers

A good look by Digiday’s Lucia Moses.

Over at Digiday, Lucia Moses has a piece that, among other things, sheds some light on how a few publishers have been building teams around figuring out the voice-first platform:

NPR has six people who are dedicated to voice assistants and is in the process of creating an editorial position that will be dedicated to them. The New York Times is advertising for a voice editor to help define the Times on voice-enabled devices. The person will be part of special projects and work on prototypes and the publication of its first set of voice experiences on these platforms, according to a job posting.

Al Jazeera just appointed a senior producer in editorial to decide what of its existing news to put on the devices and is working on content that’s specifically created for them. The Washington Post has a six-person audio team in the newsroom, which it split off from audience development early this year, to focus on home assistants along with podcasts and other kinds of audio storytelling.

Bloomberg Media has two to three people who work getting content like its Market Minute on the Apple HomePod, Echo and Home — a “substantial” number, said Julia Beizer, chief product officer there.

Do pair this with the latest edition of Edison Research and NPR’s Smart Audio report, which dropped last Wednesday.