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Veritone’s Synthetic Voice Technology To Translate iHeart Podcasts. Up Next: Radio.

In the biggest vote of confidence yet for the use of synthetic voice technology in podcasting, iHeartMedia has signed on to use Veritone’s voice-cloning solution to take its shows to international markets. The tool, which takes English-language series and converts them into different languages, dialects, and accents, will be used to make shows across the iHeartPodcast Network available in multiple languages.

The effort will begin with what is arguably the biggest opportunity for iHeart – the Spanish-speaking marketplace – which not only will appeal to listeners of its My Cultura podcast network in the U.S., but also to target listeners in the 18 Spanish-speaking countries worldwide.

“With the hyper-growth of our podcast network over the past decade, we are always looking for what is new and next in the medium, too – and Veritone’s synthetic voice solution is a great example of that,” said Conal Byrne, Chief Executive Officer at iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group. “Being able to easily offer our podcasts in other languages, in the talents’ unique style, will be an awesome and innovative way to grow market share in the global marketplace,” Byrne said in the announcement.

Veritone says its synthetic voice-cloning technology gives iHeartMedia the opportunity to reach new audiences at scale with their current top podcast talent. With no additional studio time, voice talent can authorize Veritone’s synthetic voice solution to automatically produce more podcasts, advertisements, and other audio in multiple languages with the same energy, cadence and uniqueness as they have.

“With the power of Veritone’s synthetic voice solution, iHeartMedia will not only be able to scale to new markets with localized language translations but retain the brand value of their top talent’s voice–which is fundamental in podcasting,” said Veritone President Ryan Steelberg. “We are also partnering to develop synthetic voices for advertising and engaging content while reducing time-to-market and production costs for radio, podcasting and the metaverse.”

In addition to a self-serve application for voice projects leveraging stock voices, Veritone’s synthetic voice solution offers custom synthetic voice-cloning. The solution can also secure the approvals necessary to create the cloned voice as well as approvals required to use the voice appropriately. A potential reason to say “yes” for talent is the new technology will provide new ways for them to make money by allowing their voice to be synthetically recreated in new projects.

iHeartMedia plans to roll out its first synthetic voice-produced podcasts during the second quarter.

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