News briefings on Assistant

Table of contents:

Overview

Eligibility and availability

Submit or update your feed

Best practices

Troubleshooting FAQs

Overview

News briefings on Google Assistant enables users to browse top headlines throughout the day, access the latest news in specific content categories (for example, sports or business), or find news from a specific news provider. The user does this by interacting with their Google Assistant-enabled devices, as demonstrated in the following picture with Google Home:

News on Google Assistant queries

Use this guide to help onboard your news content for news briefings on Google Assistant. 

  1. Review the eligibility and availability guidelines below.
  2. Ensure that your news feed(s) follows the technical requirements. Check out the examples.
  3. Submit your feed for onboarding, and update your feed’s metadata or add video news briefings.
  4. Review these helpful resources:

Eligibility and availability

This section provides details that determine your news content’s eligibility for news briefings on Assistant, and the feature’s availability for Google Assistant users around the world. 

Eligibility

To be considered, your content must meet these eligibility requirements:

  • Features audio and video news in one of these categories:
    • Art
    • Business
    • Entertainment
    • Health
    • Lifestyle
    • National
    • Politics
    • Science
    • Sports
    • Technology
    • World
  • Provides timely and regular news updates, such as hourly or daily.
  • Is in at least one of the languages and countries listed in the Availability section. 
  • Follows the Google Assistant content policies
  • May contain custom monetization solutions and promotional content.

Video Eligibility 

Your video news content must follow these additional requirements. 

Video content requirements:

  • You must integrate audio news content before (or alongside) your video news content, as we don’t support standalone video news briefings integration.
  • Video news content must match your audio news content publications as much as possible. This means that the video news clips should mirror the audio news clips.  
  • Submit separate RSS feeds for your audio and video contents, since we don’t support single RSS feeds that use multiple <enclosure> elements or the <media:group>  element. 
  • RSS feeds for audio and video must have the same <channel> child element values (i.e. <title>, <description>,  <link>,  <image>), so users know that they’re consuming content from the same source. For more details, see news briefings publication RSS tags at the <channel> level.

 Availability

Users can access news briefings on Assistant in the following languages and countries:

Language

Countries

Audio news briefings

Video news briefings*

Danish DK Done Done
Dutch BE, NL Done NL only 
English AU, CA, GB, IE, IN, PH, SG, US Done AU, CA, GB, IN, US, SG only
French BE, CA, CH, FR Done CA, FR only 
German AT, BE, CH, DE Done DE only
Hindi IN Done  
Indonesian ID Done  
Italian CH, IT Done IT only 
Japanese JP Done Done
Korean KO Done  
Norwegian NO Done Done
Portuguese BR Done  
Spanish AR, CO, CL, ES, MX, PE, US Done ES only
Swedish SE Done Done

*Video news briefings are only available on Google Assistant-enabled smart display devices. 

​Users can select news sources across the entire news briefings on Assistant corpus, including those in languages and countries outside of their home language or geographical location. For example, a user in the U.S. can add news sources  targeted towards English in the U.S. and Canada, Spanish in Mexico, and Japanese.

Submit or update your feed

If your news content meets all the news briefings on Assistant eligibility guidelines and technical requirements, you can submit your content for onboarding. Once submitted, we’ll conduct an onboarding review and get your content live on Google Assistant. This entire process usually takes up to 5-7 business days.

Submit your feed

Submit your news content using one of these methods:

Quick reminders for onboarding

  • You must submit separate RSS feeds for audio news briefings and video news briefings. We don’t support single RSS feeds that use multiple <enclosure> elements or the MRSS <media:group> element.
  • For synonyms, only add alternate terms that are specific to your news publication or brand.
    • You can add up to 5 synonyms that accurately represent your news brand. 
    • You can also use phonetic spellings of the news title or publisher name.
  • News briefings on Assistant may not be able to accommodate all onboarding requests such as news category selection, synonyms values that are too general or reserved for other actions on Google Assistant, etc.
  • To make your news content available to users globally that understand your content’s language, select all the Feed language and country options that apply in the onboarding request form. 
  • To restrict your news content to users in specific countries, list out each country one by one in the Feed country restriction section in the onboarding request form. 

Update your feed

If you’ve previously onboarded content on news briefings on Assistant, you can make updates to existing meta-data or add video news content. Our system currently doesn’t automatically update changes made to your RSS feed's metadata, so please notify us when you make any modifications. 

Submit your update request

Fill out the form to submit an update request. Once you submit, our team will review and process your request, which can take up to 5-7 business days.

Quick reminders for updating

The following list shows the customization options and specifications for your feed metadata:

Metadata Type

Specifications

Title

RSS feed name. 

This is the same for both audio and video news briefings.

Audio feed URL Updates to Audio feed Urls require additional time for quality reviews (5-7 business days).
Video feed URL Add a Video feed Url to supplement your audio news briefings through an update request. This process requires additional time for quality reviews (5-7 business days).
Description  The description of your news content. 
Image URL  Make sure your image is at least 1400x1400 pixels.
News Category 

Available news categories:

  • General
  • Art and Lifestyle
  • Business
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • National
  • Politics
  • Science
  • Sports
  • Technology
  • World
Synonyms You can request up to five synonyms that accurately represent your news content and brand, including phonetic spellings.

 

You can check how your content appears in the following ways:

Updating video news briefings 

If you onboarded audio news briefings previously, you can add video news briefings by submitting an update request. 

Best practices 

Follow these best practices to keep your content fresh and optimized for news briefings on Assistant.

Keep news content updated frequently and consistently

  • Users engage the most with news feeds that are updated multiple times a day. 
  • Content is crawled constantly throughout the day so users have access to the latest content available. 
  • Content that's not updated regularly may be considered stale and may be re-evaluated.
  • If you’d like users to access previous news briefings episodes, we suggest using Google Podcasts.

Note: news briefings on Assistant only plays the latest news content available (e.g., most recent <item> element). 

  • Provide brief news segments, about 5-10 minutes long. 
    • News briefings on Assistant supports longer segments, but 5-10 minutes is the most optimal for news updates.
  • Include source intros and outros for each of your news briefings. 
    • For example, “Live from the Example Times” or, “This is the Example Times”. 
    • You can tailor these intros or outros to each news briefing by identifying the name of the person who’s about to speak.

Encourage users to select your content as their preferred news source

  • Direct users to add your news content by navigating to News services in their Google Account settings, and customizing their preferred news sources list.
    • Google Assistant prioritized the user’s news sources list when playing news briefings for categorical user queries. 
    • When users say, “What’s the latest [insert category] news?,” Google Assistant will first play news sources in that category which the users have selected.

For more information about how users can add your content as a News Source, see Set your default news service on Google Home

Tell users all the different ways to launch your news content on Assistant-enabled devices

  • Share users commands such as:
    • Listen to (the news from) [provider name or synonym].
    • Play (the news from) [provider name or synonym].
  • Point users to a deep-link of your news content from Google Assistant Directory
    • Find the link to your news content on news briefings on Assistant, and share the link to launch your content directly on Assistant-enabled devices.

Prevent your news briefings from showing up in open-source features (e.g., Google Podcasts. 

  • Add blocking tags for your news publication's RSS <channel> level. 

Examples:

<itunes:block>yes</itunes:block> 
<googleplay:block>yes</googleplay:block>
 

Notify us when making changes or updates to your news content metadata, such as its title, RSS feed URL, and description. For more information, see Submit or update your feed.
 

 Troubleshooting FAQs

Are your news briefings not displaying accurately or properly within the Google Account setting’s News services, or the Google Assistant directory (e.g. broken image, old description, wrong title)?

News briefings on Assistant currently only updates the news briefings’ media files, as we crawl your news RSS feeds constantly throughout the day for updates to your audio or video files.

You’ll need to submit a request to update your feed when modifying any meta-data as shown below:

  • Title
  • RSS feed URL(s)
  • Description
  • Image 
  • Synonym(s)

Are users having trouble accessing your news briefings on Google Assistant? Is Google Assistant playing content that is unexpected for the query or command?

  • For audio and video news briefings that just launched into production for news briefings on Assistant, it may take 24-36 hours before the news briefings are fully available to users.
  • Check if your content is available in production by doing the following:
    • Find your news publication in the Google Account settings and then Services and thenNews.
    • Search for your news publication in the Google Assistant Directory.
  • Try the following phrases across multiple Google Assistant-enabled devices, such as smartphones or Google Home devices. This allows you to see if the problem is affecting multiple users, devices, or even news sources. 
    • Listen to (the news from) [provider or synonym].
    • Play (the news from) [provider or synonym].
  • If the issue persists, contact our audio news support team. Provide detailed information about the issue, specific phrases you've used, the response from Google Assistant, and exact steps for how our team can replicate your issue.

Are users having trouble accessing your news briefings when using a query or command in a different language? For example, trying to use Hindi to launch an English-produced news briefing?

  • News briefings on Assistant doesn't support multi-language queries or commands for countries that have multiple official languages. 
  • Users can only launch audio and video news briefings in the same language that they used when requesting news content across Google Assistant-enabled devices.

Is your news briefings content showing up in other open source RSS features such as Google Podcasts, and you would like it removed?

Prevent your news briefings from showing up in open-source RSS features by adding blocking tags for your news publication’s RSS (<channel> level), such as: 

<itunes:block>yes</itunes:block> or <googleplay:block>yes</googleplay:block>.
 

If you use these extension elements, you’ll need to make sure to include the appropriate xmlns namespace declaration in the <rss> tag at the top of your feed, as shown below:
 

<rss version="2.0" 
 xmlns:itunes="http://www.itunes.com/dtds/podcast-1.0.dtd"        xmlns:googleplay="http://www.google.com/schemas/play-podcasts/1.0">
 

 

Do you have other issues with your news briefings on Google Assistant?

Contact our audio news support team to provide detailed information about the issue you're experiencing.

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