iHeartMedia partners with Veritone’s synthetic voice/translation tech to broaden global podcast reach

In a signal of how well resourced networks can use technology to enlarge their footprints, iHeartMedia is pairing with audio-AI company Veritone to translate and synthetically voice iHeart’s leading podcasts for Spanish-speaking markets.

Veritone says its synthetic voice solution “allows celebrities, athletes, influencers, broadcasters, podcasters and other talent across numerous industries to securely create and monetize verified synthetic voices that can be transformed into different languages, dialects, accents and more.” (See our interview with Veritone president Ryan Steelberg for details about the company’s development of synthetic conversational AI.)

The headline project is the translation and synthetic voicing of what iHeart calls its “marquee podcasts” — unspecified in today’s announcement. Those podcasts will be recreated in Spanish. Veritone emphasizes a key point that any network or production house can connect with: “No additional studio time.”

“We have worked with the iHeartMedia team for more than four years in various aspects of their business, and we are very excited to collaborate on expanding their podcast audience and unlocking new revenue streams for the broadcast industry leader,” said Ryan Steelberg, president of Veritone. “iHeartMedia has always been a pioneer of innovation, and now 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. 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.”

“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.”

Brad Hill