New App will stream audio news into car

By Maurice Garvey

WHILE at the Web Summit in Portugal last week, News Over Audio CEO Gareth Hickey, from Tallaght,  announced the launch of NOA’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in-car apps.

The new in-car App allows listeners to stream human-narrated audio articles from behind the wheel.

Gareth Hickey Web Summit 1 compressor

Gareth Hickey, CEO of News Over Audio, speaking at the 2019 Web Summit in Lisbon

NOA is a digital news and education company providing spoken-word versions of articles from publishers like The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Telegraph, and Harvard Business Review.

Mr Hickey (28), an entrepreneur from Old Bawn, says the Apps are a response to people who bookmark articles to read later, but often don’t find the time to do so.

The audio articles are grouped into topic-specific playlists called ‘Series’ which make it easier for time-sensitive consumers to go from A-to-Z on any subject, in minutes.

“This is a learning-based approach to news consumption that NOA has gameified,” said Mr Hickey.

“For example, listeners receive progress updates as they engage with a Series and get weekly prompts to help them reach 100 per cent completion.”

The new in-car Apps went live on November 7 and are available to both free and paying NOA listeners who have a CarPlay or Android Auto enabled vehicle.

 “When we think about connected vehicles, we see a massive opportunity to educate commuters with great quality journalism,” according to Hickey, who says this marks the first time that journalism enters the car via a purpose-built application.

“Our goal is to make people ‘Warren Buffett smart, but without the significant time investment’. Our Android Auto and CarPlay apps mean we’re only a single click away for millions of commuters. Embarking on new projects like this excites the team, our listeners, and investors. It’s an exciting time to be in the audio-journalism space.”

The NOA iPhone app was featured by Apple in the US App Store between October 21 and November 1, under the “Apps we love right now” section.

Sean Anglim, NOA CTO, said the Apps were designed “with busy, on-the-go professionals in mind.”

“So we’ve made sure our web, mobile and in-car apps are fully integrated so listeners can seamlessly switch between devices,” he said.

 “This launch will open the door to more in-car development opportunities. We’re already in discussions with many of the world’s largest automakers to further integrate NOA into the connected driving world,” added Hickey.

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