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Read or listen? Online offers now also with audio option.

Foto von Lee Campbell auf Unsplash

Haufe Akademie is a leading provider of continuing education and offers a wide range of seminars and qualification programs. In cooperation with storyflash, Haufe Akademie has developed an easy way to listen to online articles.

Synthetic voices were used for this purpose, which were integrated into the Haufe Akademie blog as sound files with an audio player.

Online content in a new way

One of the latest trends in the provision of online content is the use of synthetic voices created by content-as-a-service providers (such as storyflash).

Synthetic voices make it possible to provide text content to users easily, quickly and cost-effectively. The audio content is easy to access, barrier-free and creates new usage situations (e.g. listening to content while driving or cooking).

There are users who do not have the time or ability to read a lengthy article or prefer to simply have the information read to them. Audio offerings are a great way to accommodate such users and make it easier for them to access the content.

In addition, audio content is attractive to younger target groups and can also be easily exploited on platforms such as Spotify and Deezer.

Synthetic voices in use: further advantages and an incentive for further training

Audio offerings not only help people to simply absorb information, but also enliven the entire online presence. The user experience changes as online articles take on a new dimension and users are offered a more comprehensive experience. The online offer is given a (human) "personality", in the truest sense of the word a "voice of its own".

By using synthesized voices, users can quickly and easily gain access to complicated topics, which encourages them to educate themselves and expand their knowledge. The clear and distinct voice output enables users to better understand and engage with even complex content. In the specific case of the Haufe Academy, this can contribute to users' desire for further education.

It should also not be neglected that it is generally possible to offer the content in several languages.

Why synthetic voices? And how to adapt written texts for a pleasant voice output!

The decision to use synthesized voices was motivated by the fact that these voices are able to speak informative texts in a clear and distinct manner.

However, it is important that the written texts are slightly adapted to provide a pleasant voice output. For example, enumerations should not simply be read out, but spoken in complete sentences. This prevents a monotonous sounding voice and ensures that the text is pleasant to listen to. Long "endless sentences" should also be simplified.

It is also important to check all texts for spelling beforehand. This is because typos can be overlooked as a reader, but not overheard. As a listener, you will notice every mistake immediately.

"storyflash has a large selection of synthesized voices in many languages. This allowed us to alternate between two voices for Haufe Akademie," says Angelika Joubert (Online Marketing Specialist at Haufe Akademie).

Clas Jelinek, Co-Founder at storyflash, adds: "Long texts can be further "loosened up" in this way and the "monotony" that sometimes occurs with synthetic voices can be avoided. In particular, the alternation between male and female voices, in combination with suitable background music, helps to ensure that the audio content of the Haufe Akademie is varied and interesting for the listener."

The concrete workflow

The process of implementing synthesized voices for a total of 60 selected texts involves several steps to ensure that the audio offerings are appealing and understandable:

The text selection: First, the appropriate texts that are to be available as audio offerings must be selected. The texts should be informative and relevant and generally suitable for audio conversion.

Selection of suitable voices: Once the text has been selected, suitable voices must be found for the conversion. The target group of the offer can also be taken into account here in order to find a voice that is as appealing and suitable as possible.

Individual intro: It can be advantageous to add an individual intro to each audio text in order to attract the listener's attention. The intro can briefly summarize the content of the text or provide a context for it. The target group can also be taken into account here to create an appealing intro. Background sounds (music, jingles) are also an important means of achieving the right tonality and target group.

Adaptation of the texts: To ensure that the texts are spoken fluently and comprehensibly, in most cases they need to be (slightly) adapted. For example, long sentences can be split up or incomprehensible technical terms can be explained. Enumerations should also be spoken in complete sentences to enable a pleasant voice output.

Test phase & control: After the texts have been implemented and adapted, they should be listened to in a test phase to ensure that they are error-free and spoken clearly. Feedback can also be obtained from users or experts in order to further improve the offer.

Dictionary: Depending on the use case, words that the synthetic voices may not yet pronounce correctly should be noted down. storyflash has developed a dictionary for this purpose, which supports the system with correct pronunciation.

The result:

60 texts could be converted into audio articles in a very short time, without increased manual effort. Readers can now listen to the corresponding articles on the Haufe Akademie blog without barriers.

Angelika Joubert (Online Marketing Specialist at Haufe Akademie) says regarding the use of synthesized voices: "We were surprised by the quality of the synthesized voices and how well they could be integrated. Sound backgrounds and alternating voices helped to create a pleasant listening experience for our website visitors."

storyflash co-founder Clas Jelinek comments: "We are delighted to have supported the Haufe Akademie with this exciting project. We were able to provide our expertise in the field of text-to-speech technology. The use of synthetic voices will become increasingly important in the future, which is why it is important for companies and especially content publishers to gain experience now and find suitable partners."

Here you will find two exemplary links to the Haufe Academy blog:

About the Haufe Akademie

As a leading provider of training and development for people and organizations, Haufe Akademie simplifies the acquisition of skills and facilitates sustainable development. Individual qualifications, tailor-made solutions, unique services and the highest level of consulting expertise inspire customers. Further information can be found at

About storyflash

As a central platform for digital publishers, storyflash enables web content to be converted automatically and in real time into image, video and audio content and played out in social channels and own channels. The storyflash content-as-a-service system makes the workflows of digital publishers simpler and faster. storyflash is an official technology partner of the inspiration platform Pinterest, among others.

Foto von Lee Campbell auf Unsplash



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