The news is a traditional staple of most people’s day. Whether you consume news over breakfast, read it during your morning commute or sit down to access the nightly version, we all like to keep abreast of what’s going on. Now there’s a new method hitting the digital airwaves, the customized audio news clip delivered to your phone via an app.
Clippet News is a new smartphone and tablet app for iPhone and Android which delivers carefully selected news items to your device via short (typically 60 seconds or so) audio clips, read aloud to you instead of via text. The idea is to make it easier for the new ‘mobile generation’, as the blurb calls them. The news is available in a number of categories, including innovation, culture and global, and users can grab clips into an offline playlist so they don’t need to be connected to the Internet to listen.
The idea is all well and good, but there are a number of questions that immediately spring to mind. First, how is this really different from accessing a general news news station on your device or even a generic news podcast for offline listening, and secondly who’s going to guarantee quality control absent a team of top line editors?
Already from the launch programming, it’s hard to see how this sort of service can compete with the likes of something like the BBC. The front page of the BBC offers information on the Ukraine situation, the Thai murders and the current crop of Mars orbiters, while the Clippet team focus on some asylum seekers, a schoolgirl’s veil and an NHS strike. It’s rather patchy and probably not that representative of important global news.
Still we applaud any effort to increase the availability of information for those who care, and who knows it may spur the start of a completely new sector of the news delivery market.