Audio must become part of our core business and DNA – The Story of a Publisher to Audio

Listening is more convenient than reading…& Listeners are more loyal than users Christophe Falke started by discussing the journey of Axel Springer, growing in radio, audio, production & technology, podcasts, newsletters plus paid services. “Audio must become part of our core business and DNA” To do this Axel Springer created a Task Force to do this, it became clear that they needed new storytellers, so they brought on a team to do this and established a centralised business unit to do this. Each Brand has a dedicated brand voice, training the algorithm own built creates amazing results. Team Audio is the business unit – radio portfolio still has also 35m listeners – radio is financing the work in the audio unit. There are 30 stations in linear radio and 50 format brands non-linear audio and they are growing! The teams all work closely together working on audio. With the rise of Voice Controls the mobile will stay in your pocket so there will be more audio content, audio will be one of the dominant channels in the future. We need to create new habits of audio confirmed Christophe. Spoken word is on the rise globally podcasts have a 5% in the last 5 years, this is a 5x growth. Podcasts are a fantastic way to tell stories and to explain more complicated information. In Germany the podcast growth is coming from the older demographic, this is good as Axel Springer market is this old group and so they have a ready-made future listener market. News driven podcasts are also very important which also fits with their business case. German podcast listeners love news & business – Listener engagement is very high for podcasts and an in-house research sector helps analyse results. The Axel Springer audio strategy is very clear turn users to listeners, monetise, build flagship content & create new audio and distribution. “95% of all podcasts worldwide are not monetised” Christophe shared three major challenges – the content team can be sceptical and the teams needed to come together to share ideas and move things forward, you need to focus on the best podcasts almost half of the podcasts created were stopped and finally own productions vs outsourced content. A new podcast product is very time consuming and costly, when you launch and get into the orbit its easy but the ethos is always – Every format is a start-up. The distribution is also a big part of this process where are the channels and who should they partnership with. Stories Fm is a web radio is fed by Axel Springer podcasts and radio stations this is to address listeners in a well know manner. The journey is not a sprint, you have to be bold and focused, every format is a start up, the Team must be Audio Lovers!!! Launch your audio & podcast rockets…

Photo by Sangharsh Lohakare on Unsplash

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