Noa – or News Over Audio – is a Dublin-based startup working with major publishers like Bloomberg, The New York Times and The Financial Times to enable users to listen to written articles on a wide range of topics while on the go.
Established in 2015, the idea for Noa was conceived through a recognition by its founders that time-constrained professionals wanted to receive news in a more effortless and curated way. Today, Noa is delivering audio journalism to the kind of customers that Audible once termed those whose eyes are busy but whose minds are free.
At a time when digital audio is booming, Noa co-founder and CEO Gareth Hickey joins us in studio to discuss partnering with premium publishers to make their news stories more accessible, the shift towards consuming content through audio and the rise of voice-activated devices.
In this episode, Gareth also talks about:
- How engagement times for audio journalism are trumping those of text-based content
- The onboarding experience with partners
- Coupling curation with narration
- Compromising user interface in favour of user experience
- Moving users from freemium to premium
- The importance of mapping the customer journey in delivering exceptional CX
“People want to know more, they want to be informed and audio really provides an avenue to do that.”
In the following extract, Gareth describes what he believes effortless experience should look like.
“There are probably going to be as many definitions as there are users. People think of it differently and it depends on what your expectations are when you come to the product overall, which can have something to do with branding or the article that you ran a couple of days or weeks back.
“The first thing that’s important to do is set expectations and make sure that your user knows why they’re there and the value they are going to get out of it. It means the journey that you take them on will make more sense. Earlier on, we have definitely been more of a culprit of setting an expectation that we were going to be ‘fast news’ or compete with headline journalism and really that’s not an area that we ever intended to or can compete on. Our goal is much more to say, ‘Hey, there are all the great articles that you would love to read’. They tend to be a little bit more timeless and it’s about making those available.
“If you don’t get the initial messaging right, you’re probably going to create more effort for the consumer to figure that out themselves. So I’d say messaging is probably the first port of call.
“Effortless experience is probably [a] utopia. You are never actually going to get there but the idea is to lower as many barriers as you can.”
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Noa was among the companies to contribute to our latest e-book, The Art of Effortless: How Great Companies Deliver World-Class Effortless Experience. You can download a free copy here. If you enjoyed this podcast, be sure to sign up to our newsletter to receive our latest news and insights and to get the lowdown on our latest episodes.