Tune in to news, podcasts from ST on Google Home

From tomorrow, owners of Google Home devices can listen to the news and podcasts of The Straits Times and The Business Times as well as radio station Money FM 89.3, following a tie-up between Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and tech giant Google.

At the same time, subscribers who sign up tomorrow for The Straits Times All-Digital package or All-Digital + Print package will receive a free Google Home Mini.

Alternatively, for an extra $79, they can get the bigger Google Home device, which has better audio quality.

The SPH and Google tie-up will allow users to give voice commands to the device for it to read the latest news from the two newspapers.

Tomorrow will also see a range of the voice-enabled devices being available for purchase in Singapore at Google's new online store. The Google Home Mini is priced at $79, while Google Home costs $189.

To get the news via the device, users have to download the Google Home app and set their device language to English (Singapore).

In doing so, they can give the following voice commands: "Ok Google, listen to news from The Straits Times" or "Hey Google, play me the news from The Business Times", which will prompt the device to read out the latest news.

As part of the tie-up, there will be four audio feeds for Google Home: a news bulletin from The Straits Times and a financial news bulletin from The Business Times, both presented by Money FM 89.3; a podcast from The Straits Times; and a segment called Need To Know, which gives tips on career development and personal growth, presented by Business Insider Singapore and Money FM 89.3.

Mr Anthony Tan, SPH's deputy chief executive, said the initiative aims to improve user experience and give people new formats to access the news.

"Voice-enabled technology is the latest frontier and we see a lot of potential to use it to increase our engagement with audiences. We are delighted to collaborate with Google on this initiative and congratulate them on the launch of Google Home, alongside our strategic partner StarHub, in Singapore," Mr Tan said.

StarHub is the exclusive telco partner for Google Home in Singapore.

Ms Sumiko Tan, managing editor of SPH's English/Malay/Tamil Media Group and executive editor of The Straits Times, said: "People get news through different platforms these days. We're very excited to be working with Google Home on this voice-enabled initiative."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2018, with the headline 'Tune in to news, podcasts from ST on Google Home'. Print Edition | Subscribe