Personalised audio and dynamic video content are among the innovations BBC News is touting to advertisers in the year ahead.

At a Digital Content NewFront presentation in New York this week, the broadcaster outlined how it plans to develop its commercial online business, including tapping into the explosion of interest in podcasts via a text-to-audio product.

Project Songbird aims to create automated audio versions of all BBC News’ online articles that people can listen to without having to click on or browse, AdWeek reported, while the technology will also learn readers’ preferences and recommend other related content.

“We know [audio] is really important for our audiences and we are looking to really hone our technology around that,” explained Krystal Bowden, the director of BBC StoryWorks.

“We’re building something that’s going to be really useful for our readers but done in a way where advertisers will want to align themselves to that,” she said, adding that for the latter the benefits will include “associating your brand with a new innovation”, as well as taking advantage of things like pre-roll and mid-roll ads in audio files and the improved targeting options enabled by knowing listeners’ preferences.

Meantime, work continues on creating a tone of voice that is appropriate for the stories being read and in ensuring that journalistic neutrality is maintained, The Drum noted.

The issue of personalisation crops up again in the use of object-based-media (OBM) technology, which allows viewers to customise content according to their own preferences.

This is currently being trialled by Click, BBC News’ tech program, which is creating a program in parts that can be dynamically rearranged to suit viewers in particular markets or viewers at different levels of knowledge.

“Each week, I have to make these horrible decisions about what to put in [the program] and what level to pitch it at – and I can only make one show,” said Simon Hancock, program editor of BBC Click.

“In OBM is the possibility to give everyone what they want. And [the] localisation [piece] will have benefits for advertising if you’re trying to make campaigns that are impactful around the world.”

Sourced from AdWeek, The Drum; additional content by WARC staff