This new voice is enabled by Amazon Polly Neural Text-to-Speech (NTTS) technology. NTTS is an enhanced, more realistic voice experience that learns to speak by listening to recorded human speech and copying it, similar to how a human child learns to speak. As a result, it can understand the differences in speaking styles and generate speech in an expressive and lifelike way, says BlueToad.
BlueToad had the opportunity to be an early tester of the service and to ultimately offer Polly’s NTTS Newscaster voice to publishers. With Polly’s NTTS Newscaster voice, BlueToad’s text-to-speech article feature is poised to offer publishers a simple but powerful way to freshly engage their audience through realistic listening experiences, says the company.
“We focus on providing a robust and technologically-advanced suite of digital solutions for our customers,” said Paul DeHart, CEO of BlueToad. “We were excited to work with AWS on the launch of Polly’s new NTTS and Newscaster offerings. Providing audio versions of customer article content is an important part of our solution, and we’ve already seen excitement from our publishers.”
One of those publishers is SUCCESS magazine, a consumer publication directed to entrepreneurs and business leaders. Stuart Johnson, Owner and CEO of SUCCESS, adds, “The trends increasingly show that consumers are gravitating toward audio content. With the exceedingly high quality speech that Polly now offers, we’re even better equipped to deliver these exceptional listening experiences to our audience.”
BlueToad says it has consistently taken advantage of the diverse set of Amazon Polly voices by using voices with languages and accents native to the publication’s readers. Additionally, BlueToad attempts to determine the likely gender of the author of each article - based on census data matching first names to declared gender - then matching to an appropriate Polly voice in the right language and accent.
In 2017, BlueToad introduced the ability for publishers to offer audio versions of the articles found in their digital magazines. With the growth of audio as a platform to consume content, the company began utilizing Amazon Polly as an easy audio solution for publishers. Now updated with Polly’s NTTS Newscaster voice, publishers have more ways to connect readers with their content.