This special Conversations episode of Media Voices looks at the challenges faced by established publishers with their own content workflows when starting a podcast. To discuss both challenges and solutions, Chris Sutcliffe is joined by Eurosport’s Aude Baron and Podinstall’s Sarah Toporoff.
Chris Sutcliffe: Hello, everybody, welcome to this Media Voices conversations episode. I’m your host, Chris Sutcliffe. This episode, we’re going to be talking about repurposing content for audio and rethinking podcast discovery. So, for publishers with a very well established content workflow, adding podcasts can seem like a daunting task. But the reality is that you already have what you need to create that great podcast and to get it in front of your audience.
I’m joined by Eurosport’s Aude Baron and Podinstall’s Sarah Toporoff. We’re going to be talking about how you turn evergreen content into audio, not just for your own website, but to bring that podcast discovery home. To begin with, I wondered if we could get you to introduce yourselves and your expertise to the audience. So Sarah, who are you and what does your company do?
Sarah Toporoff: I’m Sarah Toporoff. I am the publisher manager for Podinstall, which is the flagship technology for the French audio hub, BABABAM. We have a web-based podcast player that lets you put your audio productions front and centre and pilot your episodes, your own website via search engines, via news aggregators. We’re trying to bring audio much closer to audiences and specific publishers.
Chris: Very nice. And Aude, I know that most people will have heard of Eurosport, but why don’t you take us through what you do there?
Aude Baron: Hello, I’m the editor in chief of Eurosport France. I am mostly in charge of content on digital platforms. For the last year, I’m also in charge of, let’s say, the adaptation of the content on all the platforms that could be both digital, but also linear
That’s a huge remit. It speaks to what we’re going to be talking about today, which is turning that evergreen content into something which is suitable and successful in audio form.
Chris: As we mentioned in the introduction, a lot of publishers have what they already need when it comes to repurposing that content and creating this great suite of audio and podcasts. But Aude, I wonder if you could begin by taking us through an example of what Eurosport is doing around that, so the audience can really get an idea of what we’re talking about.
Aude: Yeah, so actually for our podcast, Eurosport is a broadcast company. For us, it was quite a challenge to produce some podcasts. What kind of podcast should we publish, and how are we going to build the audience? The very first podcast that we created, it was Great Stories.
Actually, it was quite funny, the genesis of this podcast, because I had a discussion with the CEO of BABABAM, Pierre Orlac’h. We were just wondering, what can we do together. We had no idea what kind of podcast we could launch, we just knew that we wanted to work together and I just knew that I wanted to launch a podcast.
To me, the challenge is to adapt the content on various platforms, because we already produce a lot of content at that period. This was the beginning of 2019 and we were producing a lot of written and video content. So to me, the challenge was, is it possible to adapt content that we already produce into a podcast.
At that period, we had a great format, it’s a written format. It’s named ‘Grands récits’, which you can translate it into Great Stories. Basically, it’s super long-form writing that you can read within 20 to 30 minutes. It’s top journalists who tell you the stories of not only sports, but mostly the human behind the performance. And so with Pierre, we decided that it could be great to adapt it into a podcast with a super simple, just a voice, little work of the sound. Two months later, it was on our platforms.
Chris: Nice, fantastic. And it’s interesting that you talk about the human aspect of it, because one of the things that the podcasting format is so good at is really getting across that humanity behind those stories. Was that something that you really focused on when you were turning that long-form content into audio?
Aude: What we wanted to do is to have evergreen content. Because we are news media, and we knew that on the audio platform, you have a greater chance to reach a larger audience if it’s evergreen. And actually those Great Stories, Grands récits – it was a great format. You can read it or listen to it whenever you want. For us it’s really interesting, both as an authority but also on a sponsor, on a business point of view, because we widen the audience.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. I know that, having spoken to a lot of podcast producers and publishers in the UK, that reaching those new audiences is something that’s very key to them, when they’re actually considering launching a podcast, because, as you mentioned, the audience for one form of content isn’t necessarily the audience for the next form of content. To what extent are you expecting the audience will change for the new show?
Aude: What we saw is especially on Twitter and Facebook, because it’s where we have the most comments, we could see that the audience was super qualified. What was great also is that it lasts 20 to 30 minutes, and the completion rate is really good. For us, the quality of the audience and the quality of feedback for users was super important.
Chris: What Aude’s talking about there speaks to that hunger that a lot of publishers have to create great audio content. So what in your experience has been some of those challenges that publishers have faced in actually getting the audio content up and out?
Sarah: I think that, especially online media, needs to be ROI-focused. Those monetisation strategies exist and have existed for a really long time for text and video. It’s really natural for publishers to be able to monetise their video content and their article pages through display, etc. But for audio, I think that the wish to be able to produce that is there, I think the journalistic creativity is there, but the monetisation, and the audience model isn’t necessarily super clear to everyone when they’re looking to start out.
Chris: No, definitely. I suppose that speaks to the relative nascence of the format. But at the same time, the landscape of podcasting has changed so rapidly over the last couple years, there are so many different monetisation tools that are available now. To what extent is it almost an experiment still, for publishers looking to get into this space?
Sarah: I think we’re past the experimentation phase and getting into the professionalisation phase. You see that from the advertiser side, where I think, more and more often, podcasting is part of any good media plan. Not as much as it should be, but it’s building, and it’s building pretty rapidly.
Chris: No, definitely. We just did our awards last week and we were amazed by the depth of the commercial strategies that many of the winners actually had in place. It’s been astonishing, actually, to see how fast the the landscape has evolved.
Aude: Exactly. So what we say at Podinstall – and we try to practice what we preach – is that your biggest potential growth platform for your podcast audience, it’s not Apple, it’s not Spotify. It’s Google Chrome, it’s Firefox, your own online platforms, because if you look at the history and the structure of the internet, it was first optimised for text, then optimised for image, and nowhere did audio find its place online.
You see it in the structure of every web page, where you have images and you have text, but just the fact that most videos play on mute by default, it proves that the web is not an audio-first medium. So that’s what we’re trying to change. With Podinstall, it allows you to create your own online, audio-first, mobile-first space for listening. You can speak to how you’re piloting your shows through your own website.
Aude: Actually, for us, the challenge was to build the audience. As I said, at the beginning, the heart of our business was video. We really know how to build a community for video and text. But we had no idea of how it works on audio platforms.
On the other side, we have a website, which is super powerful, because eurosport.fr is the second sport website in France. We knew that we had the power to use, but the question was how. Knowing is that to put some podcasts on the website, it requires product development. It takes time.
18 months ago, it was not possible to develop a special web page. When I was talking about Podinstall, to me, it was just a great solution because it was pretty easy to plug with our website, and it was offering our user a great audio-only experience from a web page. They didn’t need to go on the audio platform, like Spotify, Deezer and so.
From now on, what we do is that we have several, let’s say, categories of podcasts. We have the podcasts that are directly connected to the news. We call them vodcasts, because in fact, it’s a video show, and we extract audio. So these podcasts are super powerful, thanks to Podinstall, directly on the website because it’s about news.
Then the second category is all the evergreen content. It’s more interviews, discussion with athletes. Those ones have better performance than the others on the audio platforms. I’d say around 10 to 20% of the traffic comes from Podinstall, and the other traffic is from the audio platform. Whereas if you compare all our vodcasts, so the news podcast, here it’s reversed. 80 to 90% of the traffic is from Podinstall and over website.
Chris: I think that’s really, really interesting. I suppose it speaks to this idea that you can own your own content much more freely and much more effectively. If you do have it on the site itself. It sort of gets around that discovery issue that we’ve seen with a lot of publishers and podcasts, where it exists separately.
Aude: To me, it’s really an issue of balance. When I build the catalogue of podcasts, I really try to understand which community can I build and where and how. For example, when I buy a new podcast, they were existing podcasts, because those podcasts, already had an existing community on the audio platforms.
Whereas when we create our own podcast, because our DNA is hard news, because our DNA is to work on a daily basis, then we create some news podcasts. I would say the Grands récits, the first one we created, is a little bit the exception. But the production of this content is really excellent. It’s not like the others. The others, you just listen to them once and that’s it. Whereas the Grands récits, it’s a little bit like a jewel.
Chris: I’m curious then, before we get into discussions around the platforms and the benefits of owning your own podcast audio specifically, about what the actual practical considerations that go into turning one piece of content into a piece of audio content are. You were talking about the vodcasts. It sounds like that’s almost a straight port across of the audio, but for those longer form pieces, what considerations go into how they are presented, and what differentiates them from the text other than the fact that it’s a different medium?
Aude: I would say it’s the emotion. The emotion and close links you can have with your user. I would also say that to me, it’s really an experience. When you read, I wouldn’t say it’s cold, but there is kind of a distance between you and the content. Whereas with the audio, you’re in the intimacy of your user.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. It speaks to that one-to-one relationship that people have with their podcasts.
Aude: Yeah, exactly. Absolutely. When we also decided to do a podcast, it’s also because we knew that the completion rate of a podcast is – if you compare – better than the time spent on the content on the website. So the aim, because Sarah talked at the beginning of the discussion about the ROI, and this is my obsession: why do we do this? What do we earn? When I build some content, or when I initiate something, I always have in mind the why.
It could be business – when I say business, it could be a sponsor – it could be audience, or it could be authority, or it could be because [of] subscriptions to Eurosport. So if you take one of these four reasons, you know, this is relevant to make this content and for the podcast, we know that today it’s a little bit expensive for us as a production but the sponsorship potential is huge, because the brand, they are super happy to sponsor content that is such great quality, and because they also have the guarantee that the user will stay pretty long on the content.
Sarah: I think when publishers are looking to distribute audio via their own website, the thing that you see all the time is putting an embedded podcast player into an article page – going to your CMS, creating an article page, and then putting an iframe in where you can push play. Those pages are great to read, but they’re not great for listening.
On the best day of your life, you’ll get maybe 15% of folks that will actually listen via those article pages with a podcast embed. What we’re working on is to really put the user in an audio-first environment. Eurosport does this really well, because what you do is you pilot these episode URLs. It’s a unique episode URL that’s automatically created as soon as you upload an episode into your hosting platform.
You can put it on your homepage – I think Eurosport has a specificity of being really, really strong via the homepage – you can go to eurosport.fr and you have articles, you have videos, and you have podcasts. They’re all presented on the same level. They’re not just like, ‘Oh, podcasts are over here for those people that are podcast people.’ It’s content.
What happens when you click on one of those podcasts links from the homepage is that you’re in an app-like environment. You’re already in this audio-first universe, instead of being distracted by text and display ads. It has really good conversion rates, from page visits to listens.
You’re not going to get the same type of engagement on the podcast apps, because people are going to the podcast apps to listen, so obviously, you’re going to get listened to via those apps at a much higher rate. But when someone’s coming through your Twitter, through your homepage via a news aggregator, and they’re not necessarily there to listen, with these optimised pages, we see conversion rates of 45-50% or more.
Chris: Wow, that’s amazing. It’s strange that I’d almost never considered the fact that embedding using an iframe can almost be considered interruptive. It’s a secondary activity and it’s not necessarily the one that people have come to the page for.
Sarah: Yeah, for me, that usage is saying ‘we have a podcast, but no one’s gonna click and listen’. And if you have an ad in that pre roll spot, you want them to click. That becomes revenue for you.
Aude: Regarding the ROI, we have two main directions for the monetisation, either as a sponsor, or as the ad. For the sponsor, it’s not super easy because our sales teams are used to sell some ads for video or written content and not audio. So for them, it’s pretty new. Because it’s a new way of working with also new brands. Also, brands are not ready to sponsor some podcasts. But it’s improving, and we’ll soon have some sponsors on six episodes, so we are super happy about it.
The other way is, of course, the ads. For us, what was super important is to have some ads because we need some money. It’s basic. But we also need to cherish the user experience. We need this all the more as the core of our business content is subscription for rights on television. To me, you subscribe to a provider. If you like it, if you love it, because there is a close link when you when you pay.
So if you want to be appreciated by your user, you need to respect them and to offer them a nice user experience with ads, but it should not harm your content. This is also why we are working with a platform and BABABAM really helped us with this. Just to put some ads but at the right moment of the podcast. For example, today, we don’t have some ads as a pre-roll, we wait at least two or three minutes. Because the pre-roll for us, is a bit hard for the user.
Chris: Definitely, it can be almost too much of an impediment right at the start to get over. So I suppose the question is, we’ve mentioned it slightly before, in terms of the podcast platforms, is there now a danger that platforms like Spotify, like Apple, like iTunes, and even to some extent, Google, is there a danger that they are taking some of the value away from publishers’ own podcasts and audio content? Because they really do take the focus away, they take the attention away from those publisher-owned and operated assets like the website? So Sarah, what’s been the development of that over the course of the last couple years?
Sarah: I think that our focus is empowering publishers to really seriously consider their own platforms as listening platforms. But like Aude said, it’s really about a balance. For these evergreen shows, we’re looking at around 20% of listens on their own website, which honestly is much bigger compared to a lot of other podcasts. That’s on the lower end.
When you’re looking at more day to day news, like football results, post-game analysis type shows, you’re looking at 70 to 80%, of the audience is coming from their website. I think it has to be a balance and it has to be adapted to the format, but it definitely shouldn’t be neglected, basically.
I think that publishers need to realise that they don’t only have to rely on third party platforms, but it’s part of the mix. It’s definitely part of the mix. I think Aude spoke to this really well, that the distribution strategy has to match the format.
Aude: It’s mostly an issue of balance. Because we cannot depend only on the audio platforms, but we cannot depend only on the web pages. I’m super happy with Podinstall, but to me, it wouldn’t be a good signal if most of our traffic was coming from Podinstall, because if the web pages, in months or years decrease, what happens to our users?
To me, it reminds me of a debate between Google and social platforms two or three years ago, [around] 2016, or 2017, the source of traffic from social platforms was super powerful. Then it decreased, and it was super violent, because the social platform changes the algorithm and the rules. So if you were depending on those platforms, your audience just crashed.
This is also why, when we decide what kind of podcast we’re going to produce or to buy, it’s really important to have a clear vision of the structure of the community. And this is why today, we create our own podcasts and they depend on the news, because it is our DNA.
Or we will outsource podcasts, but I will not acquire a podcast, I will not purchase a podcast that doesn’t already have a community. Because that will bring me the guarantee that they are strong on the audio platform so that it’s complimentary, with our podcasts that are more, let’s say, web pages.
Chris: I think that’s so interesting idea that you can build up that suite of podcasts with different distribution strategies. It’s not something that I’ve seen a lot of from publishers in the UK, either. They typically go all in on one, either on the audio platforms or having them all on site. As you mentioned, that just seems to be a recipe for not as much success as you could get otherwise.
Aude: At the very beginning, we had a constraint. When you have a constraint, either you stop or you try to be creative and find a solution. The constraint was, we don’t know the podcast universe. We don’t know how to build a community and we don’t have the connection with the platforms. When we started the podcast, I had no connection with iTunes, Spotify and so on. You just wonder, how do we do it? You need to find another solution.
And you say, ‘Okay, so this is a constraint. I have no connection with the audio word, but I have one strength: we are strong on, let’s say, the website and the native apps. So from this point, let’s try to find a solution. And actually access is better. It was a great momentum, because at exactly the same period, BABABAM arrived and said ‘we have a solution and it could be great’. It just all aligned.
Sarah: Speaking to that, just generally, your presence on podcasting apps, I think is more, looking to build new audiences, to get people that aren’t familiar with your brand, but want to hear a great story, bringing in younger audiences, more diverse audiences. And I think that having a great platform strategy is really important for that.
But you already have a really loyal audience as well that is engaging with your brand via different audience points of contact, so social media, website, etc. Using Podinstall and making your own platforms an important part of your distribution mix is also making sure that you’re turning your audience into your listeners.
Chris: Definitely. I think that speaks to something which we’ve seen in other mediums as well, the idea that if you do publish on a third party platform, you do get some elements of brand erasion. It’s less the case for podcasting, because obviously, it’s a very human, one-to-one connection between host and audience. But does this then mean that, say, a tool like Podinstall means that you can make it much more your own in terms of branding, beyond just having one little icon or logo on there?
Sarah: Yeah, absolutely. I say you’re on Podinstall, but you’re really on your own website. These pages, they’re progressive web apps, they live in a subdomain of your main site, and they’re white label. You go on Eurosports space, which I think we can probably link to in the episode description, but you feel like you’re within the Eurosports universe. You have your fonts, you have you logo, your colours, the header links right back to the homepage.
What’s interesting, I think, for publishers, is that if you get someone to listen to your podcast, say, on Spotify, they might really love that show and six months later, they might find out, [or] they might never find out that you have another show that they might like because you’re there with all of your competitors. You don’t really have that much brand control and consistency. Using your own website as a listening tool, you have all of your shows in one place.
Chris: Yeah, definitely. I suppose, to some extent, that does benefit those publishers that already have a direct one-to-one relationship with their audiences. Aude, you were speaking about you talking about Eurosport being the second sports website in France. That surely provides a huge benefit to hosting podcasts directly on that site?
Aude: Definitely, but I would say that it’s not a guarantee for the success of a podcast. I can give you one example: we launched a podcast and it’s not a failure, but it was not a great success. Actually, this podcast, it was in between evergreen, and news. When I say it was in between, it was interviews with athletes, but they were former athletes, and I think the angle was not good enough.
As most things that are in between, the audience was in between, and for us, it was very difficult to distribute it, but we realised it once it was already produced, because on the website, we couldn’t put it high on the homepage. For us as a podcast, like written or video content, they’re all at the same level. It’s just great content, whether it is written, audio, or graphics, whatever you want. We don’t make any difference. So this is also why it’s super important to identify what works on which platforms.
Chris: Definitely. And which KPIs, which metrics do you look at to determine what is a successful podcast either on those platforms or on the site?
Aude: The first one is just the number of listeners. That’s super important, but also the completion rate. Because if the podcast is not listened to, well, first we will question the production, why isn’t it so interesting? And also because as an authority, when I was telling you that, for me, there were some important criteria for the ROI.
For the authority and for the sponsorship, the completion rate is super important, because we have some sponsors, sometimes at the end of the podcast. We need to guarantee the brand that the podcast will be listened to until the end. And also for the majority, we just want people to remember, ‘wow, that’s a great podcast, and it was on Eurosport’. We want them to remember the podcast.
Chris: Definitely. That’s the case for Media Voices as well. We want people to remember, we want that notoriety as well. So Sarah, something that Aude just touched on there is this idea that the metrics are changing. The measure of what is a successful podcast isn’t just how many people started to listen to an episode. How much more granular can we be in terms of actually measuring what is a successful podcast now than we could a couple of years ago? And do you think people are much more sophisticated in how they’re using those tools?
Sarah: We have a back office in which you can access your completion rates. Again, it has to be format specific. If there’s an hour-long podcast, and someone listens to 12 minutes of it, 12 minutes spent with your brand is still huge, even though the completion rate in itself isn’t compared to the whole length of the episode, but if you compare that to time spent on page for an article or video format, it’s exponentially longer. So I think audio is a huge opportunity to build this brand awareness, to build this one-on-one relationship between your journalists and the people that are giving your content life and your audience who live for your content.
Chris: Definitely. Just before I ask the final question in mind, but before I ask that, is there anything you feel like I’ve missed or that you’d like to talk about, whether that’s for something you’re doing at Eurosport or Podinstall?
Sarah: We didn’t really talk too much on the launching of new formats for Eurosport. So once you had the Great Stories format, then you started to launch podcasts that were taken from these video shows. You had a couple of good anecdotes about how that came to be for the Facebook Live Stream team. Do you remember?
Aude: Well, we stopped the Facebook Live, or maybe I can say the evolution of the distribution? So regarding the distribution of our shows, we had different phases. At the very beginning, when we started to create them three years ago, all shows were video shows, only video. They were on the one side, live broadcasted on Facebook and then we had some clips on the website.
The audience of Facebook has changed because of the algorithm. The audience on the live was not that good, so we just questioned ourselves, what do we earn and what is the aim of distributing the show on Facebook? And when the podcast wave arrived, we wanted to be on it. We realised that there was a great opportunity, and it was pretty… I wouldn’t say it’s cheap, but the cost was quite interesting, quite optimised.
So we decided to broadcast the whole show on a podcast, on YouTube, and clips on the website, so that you have different content on different platforms. And why do we do this? Because we are a news website. And on our website, you’re not on Eurosport.fr to watch a one-hour video, you’re on Eurosport.fr for a two- to five-minute video, maybe 10. But this is a maximum. Whereas on the podcast, this is optimised for one hour of listening. This is how we decided. At first, we just tested and the results were super efficient. At the very beginning, the show performed on podcast.
Chris: That’s fascinating as well, this idea that you can actually tailor audio content in a way that you couldn’t necessarily do for other formats, and have it live wherever. That’s fantastic.
Sarah: I think you mentioned that the idea came when someone said, ‘I love your Facebook Live Show, but I just put it on the car’.
Aude: Yeah, actually the idea to publish our show on the podcast is because my boss told me, ‘I love the stream teams’, [which] is our weekly football show, ‘but I don’t have time to watch it, I just listen to it in my car’. So he suggested to me that [we] should publish them in a podcast.
To me, it was quite a challenge because it was a video show. So I thought it was kind of visual, because we show some graphics, not too many, but some graphics. So I did a test. I said, ‘okay, I’m going to need to listen to the show’. And actually, it was okay, and we adapted it a little bit, but not that much. Now, the journalists know that when they show something, they also need to describe it a little bit. It’s not that difficult, but we earn a lot.
Also, the difference of distribution is a great opportunity for sponsorship. Because when you want to monetise your content, you don’t say to the brand, I have the same content on all platforms, you sell different content on different platforms. For example, we have a tennis podcast that has been sponsored, and there is one brand on Facebook, and the other one on the podcast, and that would be exactly the same content. We will just add a little jingle for the podcast version.
Chris: Nice, fantastic, it’s additive to the existing suite of what you do as well. That’s fantastic. I’m really glad you flagged it up, Sarah, that’s great.
Sarah: Good. I also wanted to mention that we work on an additional line of revenue for publishers that is complementary to whatever audio ads, whatever sponsorship you might have within the episode, going back to this idea of those article pages for podcast distribution, we’re working with publishers who are saying, ‘I don’t want to lose my display revenue. I need to publish these pages, because it doesn’t matter if anyone listens, I need my display revenue’.
Because those are the models that exist and that are working. Every publisher is conscious of their revenues. At the same time, you have this issue, I know it’s the case in France and it’s also the case in the UK, every brand has a podcast. Before it was like every black brand has a blog, now you also have to have a podcast. Insurance companies, universities, even like city halls, they all have this audio content, except if you think it’s hard to distribute your podcast via third party platforms as a media professional, as a brand that’s not a media house, it’s nearly impossible.
So what we’ve done is that we have a native ad placement within these article pages that publishers can choose to activate, but to be able to generate listenership for branded podcasts that will have a connection with their content. Again, like Aude was speaking to the fact that your listeners are precious and you need to keep that trust, in terms of having something that’s going to be relevant and not going to be intrusive.
So what it is in the Up Next section, after the current episode that you’re listening to, you can choose to have a sponsored slot that features a branded podcast, and then it’s a revenue share model currently, where the publisher can make money from that spot, and then the brand is happy because they’ve found a way to distribute their branded podcast.
To give an example, like BABABAM, we have a podcast that does really well. It’s about corporate social responsibility, so it’s not a huge audience, but it’s an extremely qualified audience. We get brands that want to advertise on that podcast that are talking about smart cities and evolutions of urbanisation and stuff like that. So it’s going to be contextual and it’s going to be audio. It’s a great opportunity for brands to get ears on their content that are going to be engaged. We’ve had really good completion rates for those as well.
Chris: And so as a final question, I know that the investment in audio content and audio distribution is increasing year on year. I just wondered, is there anything that particularly excites you about the future of podcasting? Is it that relationship you can build with a new audience? Is it that ability to generate additional revenue? If we could begin with you Aude, what’s the thing that most excites you about podcasting in the next couple of years?
Aude: To me, there are many challenges for the future. The very first one is monetisation. Because if you want to produce a good podcast, it’s an investment. And for us, especially, when you’re not native audio media, it’s super challenging, but it’s super interesting. We see that the brands are getting more and more mature, and have very interesting types of podcasts. They are interesting, because it allows them to reach a younger audience.
This is my second point, that, thanks to the podcast, we can reach a new audience. It’s really beneficial for all notoriety because it allows, thanks to the [evergreen] content, thanks to, not the performance, but the human stories, we are telling within the sports universe. It allows us to reach an audience that is not a super fan, but that is interested in sport, without being already super connected with other sports media.
And I would say the third one is the optimization of the production: how can you optimise the cost of production, so you can do it either locally, as I said previously, with the vodcast, when you have a video show and an audio version, this is super interesting.
The other one is also how do you transfer your production in other countries? So it can be easier translation of the content. We are going to do it for an Olympic series. So the Grand recits, the Great Stories, are going to be translated in five or six countries. Or you can try to also adapt locally the production of your content. For example, Podinstall, it was at the beginning in France, and now the UK and Italy are going to work with Podinstall. This is really optimisation of the cost of the production and how can you adapt it locally. To me, it’s super interesting.
Chris: That is really fascinating as well, I love that internationalisation angle. And Sarah, what would be some of the things that you’re most excited about?
Sarah: I mean, besides the obvious, with the open web as your biggest growth opportunity in terms of listening, something I’m really excited about in podcasting is the opportunity to connect to local communities. We’re seeing more and more news deserts, with a lot of local news shuttering over the past 25 years. It’s just kind of getting worse, but podcasting is a really great opportunity to speak to communities and these communities can be geographical.
I’m seeing a lot of really great examples of people talking to their town or their city and doing stuff that’s really relevant on a local level. I think with the constant improvement in ad tech, being able to go down to your local car dealership and sell them an ad spot that’s going to reach that relevant audience. I think that’s only going to help grow this use.
Then something else that I find really exciting, but on a more geeky level is voice assistant technology and making audio more interactive. Right now, we are really at an embryonic state for that, but as the audio web gets better indexed, I think those uses are going to become a lot better, a lot less only available in American English. I’m really excited for what can be possible once we make the audio web voice-searchable.
Chris: Nice. Yeah, that’s going to be a huge transition. Something that I think everybody who’s listening is going to look forward to as well, because that could potentially change the face of podcasting entirely.
Well, thank you so much to Sarah and to Aude for joining us today for that in-depth look at what can be done to protect the podcasting format, to really ensure that it’s valuable, that it’s as accessible as possible, and more importantly, it’s delivering value back to publishers. Thank you both very much.
Aude: Thank you very much.
Sarah: Thanks Chris.