Kitchener’s radio show hosts one of Tik Tok’s voices

KITCHENER — A well-known voice heard in a Tik Tok video feature has roots closer to home than some Kitchener residents might know.

The voice heard on Tik Tok’s text-to-speech feature is Kat Callaghan, from Kitchener, who co-hosts a local radio show on Corus 91.5 station The Beat.

Callaghan revealed the news in a Tik Tok video on October 19 that has now amassed millions of views.

“I thought maybe a couple thousand people would see it and be like, ‘Oh, cool,’ and move on,” the voice-over artist said.

“I should have realized that people are curious to know more.”

Tik Tok offers short videos of around 10 minutes maximum. It has over a billion downloads on the Google Play App Store, according to the app’s page.

To use the accessibility feature, a user highlights the text they wish to have read and selects the “text-to-speech” option in the edit tab. The text is then read with a female voice.

“I love being part of other people’s content — in a small way,” said Callaghan, who at first said it was surprising to hear his own voice coming back to him in the videos.

In Callaghan’s first video posted on the “voiceofkat” page, the text reads: “When you asked me if I’m the voice on Tik Tok…”

Callaghan smiles at the camera as the text is read aloud, before responding to the commentary herself.

“Finally, I can tell you guys – it’s me,” she said with a smile.

She said the initial video was aimed at listeners to her radio show, who had wondered for a while if she was involved with Tik Tok.

“I’ve had a lot of listeners say, ‘That sounds like you,’ and sometimes it was just that. Others were like, ‘That must be you,'” she said.

Users flooded the comments of Callaghan’s video, with many expressing doubts about her claim.

“I’m not convinced but just wanted to be here before it explodes,” user Hamed Ahmadi wrote.

“(I don’t know) why I’m not 100% convinced,” read a comment from user Danni.

This isn’t the first time Tik Tok has made headlines for its text-to-speech feature.

In May 2021, a voiceover from Welland, Ont., sued Tik Tok for using her voice in the text-to-speech feature, The Canadian Press reported.

Bev Standing sought unspecified damages and a permanent injunction against the app for what she alleged was unauthorized use of her voice without compensation.

Tik Tok could not be reached for comment.

Callaghan said she became the “voice of Tik Tok” in early 2021.

On behalf of Tik Tok, a PR firm confirmed that Callaghan was the text-to-speech voice for the app, but did not provide details on the earlier lawsuit or when the app went public. Callaghan’s voice.

“Yes, Kat Callaghan found the voice for one of the text-to-speech voice options on TikTok,” said Stephan Petar, senior consultant at Proof Strategies Inc.

In a second video, Callaghan responded to comments and answered questions. She ended the video by speaking in the text-to-speech voice as evidence.

“Sometimes you make me say some pretty awful things. It’s pretty messed up. But I think it’s funny,” she told the camera.

“You’re probably sick of my voice. I’m tired of my voice.

Callaghan’s voice was known even before his concert on Tik Tok.

She began her radio career around 2006 at 91.5 The Beat.

She moved to a few different stations, eventually hosting her own morning show with 103.5 CHUM FM in Toronto.

But a phone call soon brought her back to Kitchener with 91.5 The Beat.

In addition to a live show, Callaghan now co-hosts the “Scott & Kat After 9” podcast, an uncensored show featuring content not heard on air.

In 2015, she transitioned into voiceover work and started her own company, Kat Callaghan Voiceovers.

Although Tik Tok is her biggest job so far, she has been the voice of Instacart and Amazon Alexa Remote ads.

Callaghan’s colorful, cheerful and joyful voice, the Tik Tok voice, was a switch for online users who were used to the previous monotonous text-to-speech voice. Not everyone liked the change, she says.

“There were people who were okay with it right away, but a lot of people weren’t sure what that voice was and how it would sound on their videos because it was so different. what they had heard before,” Callaghan said.

Once she realized people accepted the new voice, Callaghan revealed her identity.

His Tik Tok account now has around 8 million likes and nearly 600,000 followers.

His first video has around 45 million views.

“I don’t think anything I do from now on will get that many views,” Callaghan said with a laugh.

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