The social audio app Anchor that launched on iOS in February, is now available on Android. I’m still skeptical that there is demand for casual mainstream audio creation and it seems that Anchor is having trouble getting larger creators to use their platform.
Radiolab signed up seven months ago but hasn’t published anything new on Anchor since then. Hopefully, the company will be able to get major contributors excited with the prospect of reaching a larger audience across the globe.
The stories available on the platform will be easily searchable and contain familiar content aggregated from elsewhere
While the main story in the article is about how shorter form content will fit into a listener’s day, I think there is a larger story here about an inevitable move towards episode ‘unbundling’. In the same way that readers use Facebook to consume news from multiple publishers rather than reading, say, the New York Times cover to cover, this will come to bear on podcast publishers.
With Audible’s Channels or 60db aggregating content and presenting it as a single experience, publishers will lose control on the delivery of their content and the ability to build and own their audience.
Delaney Simmons, Director of Social Media at WNYC, writing on Medium, noted some interesting engagement stats:
WNYC shows have been seeing great results. On Twitter, the average engagement for an audiogram is 8x higher than a non-audiogram tweet and on Facebook some of our shows are seeing audiogram reach outperform photos and links by 58% and 83% respectively.
During a recent episode of the Gimlet Media Inc. podcast “Reply All,” for example, 85% of listeners who began the program on Spotify were still listening by the 12th minute of the show, which covers internet culture. At roughly the 16th minute, when the ad break started, the audience dipped to 77% of the original listeners. It then bounced back to about 85% after the ad finished. Spotify is a new entrant to the podcast world, so that sample only represents a few thousand people, said Gimlet co-founder Matt Lieber.
“The podcasting form is completely saturated with great but long-form, highly-produced podcasts,” [Andrea Seabrook, the new D.C. bureau chief for American Public Media] said. “We want to do something that’s quick and dirty that brings people what they want to hear, an exciting take and point of view from what happened last night.”
Gimlet Media has started a Slack channel for its members as an experiment. In an email to its members:
…we use [Slack] all day, every day. And so we thought, Members are a part of our Gimlet family. Why aren’t they in there with us?! It’s the perfect forum for you to meet other members, meet us, receive announcements from our staff, participate in polls, ask questions, give suggestions, and do other fun things.
At the time of writing there are 660 users in the member’s Slack channel (for those financially-minded folks, we can estimate Gimlet is receiving at least $3,300 per month from its membership program).
This intrepid reporter will keep an eye on how this experiment works out. So far it’s mostly GIFs.
Australian podcast platform, Whooshkaa, has integrated audio sharing with Facebook. So far, so unremarkable.
However, there is a potential game-changer. Anna Washenko writing for RAIN:
Podcasts hosted by Whooshkaa can be shared to the network in status posts, and one tap will start the audio right in the news feed. While a show is playing, it will shrink to a thumbnail at the bottom right corner of the screen, allowing the listener to continue scrolling through the news feed. This feature will be rolled out to iOS mobile devices during the coming days to all Facebook accounts in all countries.
[Emphasis mine]. The fact that a listener on Facebook doesn’t have to keep the post on-screen while listening is potentially huge. It will be very interesting to see how this performs and hopefully Facebook open this feature up to other audio publishers.