For publishers with a well established content workflow, adding podcasts can seem like a daunting task. But, as this Conversations episode demonstrates, those publishers already have what is needed to create and distribute podcasts that add value to your audience and business alike.
Media Voices co-founder Chris Sutcliffe talks to Eurosport’s Aude Baron and Podinstall’s Sarah Toporoff to discuss: what are the biggest challenges for publishers trying to get into podcasting? How did Eurosport overcome these challenges? What is best practice for repurposing video as audio content, and what are the benefits of distributing podcasts directly from your own website?
The full transcript is live here, or see below for some highlights:
What to focus on when turning content into audio
Aude Baron: 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 The Great Stories – Les Grands Récits – it was a great format, and you can read it or listen to it whenever you want.
So for us it’s really interesting, both on an authority but also on a sponsor, on a business point of view, because we widen the audience.
Challenges publishers face in getting audio content out
Sarah Toporoff: 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.
The rationale behind creating a podcast
Aude Baron: 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…and this is my obsession, why do we do this? What do we earn? So 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 Toporoff: 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.
So what we say at Podinstall – and what 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. It’s 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 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.
Evolving distribution strategies
Aude Baron: Regarding the distribution of our shows, we had different phases. At the very beginning, when we started to create them, when was it three years ago, all shows were video shows, only video, and they were on the one side, live broadcasted on Facebook. And then we had some clips on the website.
And Facebook, well the audience of Facebook has changed because of the algorithm. And the audience on the live were not that good. So we just questioned ourself, what do we earn? And what is the aim of distributing the show on Facebook?
When the podcast, let’s say when the podcast wave arrived, we wanted to be on it. So 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. And so we decided to broadcast the a 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 two to five minute video, maybe 10. But this is a maximum. Whereas on the podcast, is this is optimised for a one hour listening.
On- and off-platform audiences
Sarah Toporoff: 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.
This episode of Media Voices is sponsored by Podinstall, a web-based podcast delivery technology that allows publishers to increase their listenership, develop their proprietary ecosystem, and generate new ad revenue, all without the need to download any applications. Visit podinstall.com for more information, or see Eurosport’s podcast in action over at podcasts.eurosport.fr.