BBC unveils new innovations in pitch for advertisers

Josh Hall's picture
by Josh Hall

The BBC set out its new pitch for advertisers at the NewFront event yesterday.

The Corporation is making a play for more targeted advertising, and is unveiling a new set of audio products in support.

New features that advertisers may be able to leverage include ‘Project Songbird’, as The Drum reports. This codenamed project is a text-to-audio generator that allows users to transform any text story on the BBC into a narrated audio file for mobile listening.

Project Songbird will reportedly launch in late 2019.  During the NewFront presentation a representative said the BBC had been experimenting with the voice in which stories will be read.

“You don’t want an AI voice that is just reading the news in a way that’s not sensitive – that’s hugely important to the BBC,” said BBC StoryWorks director Krystal Bowden.

“A huge part of our research and development of this tool will be ensuring it’s done in a way that is appropriate for the stories being read.”

The BBC is also making a play for personalised reading, with new machine learning-enabled software that will generate more accurate recommendations for content based on users’ preferences and viewing history.

Addressing advertisers, Bowden added: “It will be more about associating your brand with a new innovation.

“We know [audio] is really important for our audiences and we are looking to really hone our technology around that, so we’re building something that’s going to be really useful for our readers but done in a way where advertisers will want to align themselves to that.”

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