Spotify now using AI to clone podcaster’s voice into Spanish

Meanwhile Google pushes podcast listeners toward YouTube Music

Spotify has revealed it will use AI to clone the voices of prominent podcasters and translate their output into other languages.

Voice Translation for podcasts uses an in-house developed tool that relies on OpenAI's new voice generation technology, Whisper, to, for now, translate it into Spanish while matching the speaker's style.

French and German versions are promised to be available at a later date.

The pilot program starts with works from Dax Shepard, Monica Padman, Lex Fridman, Bill Simmons, and Steven Bartlett, with more to come later this year, like Trevor Noah. Both Premium and Free users can listen to completed episodes on the app's Voice Translations Hub.

The audio streaming service reckons translations performed in the artist's voice will make the episodes more authentic.

According to Spotify, more often than not, "it is the voices of the speakers that lend as much weight to the stories as the narratives themselves."

In other podcasting news, Google has decided to kill its dedicated podcasts app and direct users to YouTube music instead, an app that only started hosting podcasts in April of this year.

Although nothing will change until Google Podcasts is discontinued next year, YouTube Music will start to have features over the next few months to enable users to transfer subscriptions, the Google Podcast team told users in an email.

"For users, it means a simple migration tool and the ability to add podcast RSS feeds to their YouTube Music library, including shows not currently hosted by YouTube," said the YouTube Team in a blog on Tuesday. Users won't need a paid membership, with the exception of Korea.

Podcasters get the advantage of RSS uploads an analytic tools, said the post.

For listeners who don't want to use YouTube Music for their podcasts, they can export to third party apps by downloading an OPML file.

Google said the move to YouTube Music will reflect the way users already listen to podcasts – as 23 percent prefer YouTube compared to 4 percent of Google Podcasts. ®

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