Will Robots Take Over The Podcasting World?
VoCoCraft, the team behind Book2Pod.com, has launched the first robot voice powered service of its kind that turns books into podcasts using text-to-speech (TTS) technology in place of human narrators.
“We’re definitely living in the future we all dream about and see in the movies,” says Jim Kukral, one of the co-founders of Book2Pod. “The technology at our fingertips is mind-blowing. We now have cost-effective ways to turn the written word into audio using text-to-speech technology that sounds almost human. Before long, as the technology matures, you have to wonder if you’ll be able to tell the difference between a human narrator and a robot.”
According to Apple, over 10 billion podcast episodes were consumed on its devices in 2016. That’s 2 billion more downloads than 2015 and 3 billion more than 2014 on Apple devices alone. Reference: Huffington Post. And that doesn’t even include all the listens on other networks like Stitcher and Google Play, and on the Android store, which definitely makes that number even higher.
It seems the world can’t get enough of podcasting, and either can the advertisers. According to Current.org, over $200 million in estimated advertising spending happened in 2017, with projections for even more.
What Can A Robot Do That A Human Can’t?
“People love to talk, and listen, which is why podcasting is so big now. But not everyone wants to learn how to record their own voice and go through all the trouble of figuring out how to produce a podcast,” say Steve Loyola, co-founder of Book2Pod. “Text-to-speech technology allows anyone, without any tech skills, to turn their written words into audio, for a fraction of the cost and time it would take to produce professional audio files on their own.”
What’s Powering The Text-To-Speech Robot Revolution?
Book2Pod uses the Amazon Polly platform to produce the robot voices for each podcast. Amazon Polly is part of Amazon’s AWS platform that also powers the massively powerful and popular S3 cloud storage, used by companies like 3M, AirBnB, Adobe, AOL, Citrix, 21st Century Fox, GE, Intuit, McDonald’s, Nasa, Nasdaq, Nintendo, PBS, SAP, Stripe, FDA, Yelp! and countless others.
“Amazon’s AWS platform creates innovation by allowing small and large companies to develop off of their hard work,” says Loyola. “Amazon Polly changes the game for the written word, which means big things for podcasting, and in the future, audiobooks.”
Book2Pod was created out of a need for authors who wanted more exposure (leads and sales) and who always wanted to have their very own podcast. But creating a podcast is hard work. You have to hire a narrator, or record it yourself. That means buying an expensive “podcasting” microphone, as well as learning complicated audio editing software. Not to mention you have to figure out where to host your podcast, then submit it to the popular podcast networks. Then, after all that, figure out how to promote it.
That’s where the creators of Book2Pod realized that using today’s technology an author could use the power of text-to-speech (TTS) to turn their amazing book into a multi-episode, attention-getting podcast and get in on the game of reaching millions of new customers/readers that are devouring podcasts daily.