Posts

Audioburst launches Audioburst Auto, bringing real-time talk-audio to the Android Auto platform

 

If there’s one thing that goes hand-in-hand with the driving experience, it’s audio. From podcasts to the AM/FM dial, drivers love to tune-in while running errands, commuting, and taking road trips. However, right from the beginning, it posed a problem: distracted driving.

In the early days, we had to squint at the dial as we searched for a channel. Today, we have glowing electronic screens with even more information. Radio stations, song titles, episode names, album cover art…it’s a lot to digest.

(Especially for someone who is supposed to be driving!)

At Audioburst, our goal is to make sure that listeners can safely access the world’s talk-audio, anywhere, anytime, which is why we’ve developed our newest consumer-facing product, Audioburst Auto.

Audioburst Auto is an app created for the Android Auto platform, designed to provide expertly curated playlists, a personalized news feed, and search capabilities to the on-the-go listener. All features are built using Audioburst’s innovative short-format approach and are completely accessible via voice command.

A closer look at Audioburst Auto

 

A playlist for everyone

When you’re behind the wheel, your job is to get where you need to be safely.

Our job is to entertain!

Audioburst Auto offers a selection of curated playlists, all hand-picked by our resident team of audiophiles. There are playlists that set you up for success such as BusinessTech, and World News; playlists that aim to delight such our Entertainment playlist; playlists that offer smart, quirky content such as our ‘Off Beat’ mix; and playlists that relay the latest plays and trades, like Audioburst Auto’s Sports feed.

Let’s get personal

While many smart-speakers and voice-assisted apps play a generic ‘news briefing,’ Audioburst allows you to have complete control when it comes to building your very own personalized news feed.

Pick and choose from a wide array of topics, ranging from content from our curated playlists and trending searches to the latest in news and entertainment. Even add your own keywords to the mix to make your playlist uniquely your own.

Whether you just need a quick update on today’s top stories, or you’re desperate for real-time Justin Bieber alerts, we’ve got your back.

  

Ask us anything

Sometimes you want to know what Kanye West has done now, while other times you may need the current traffic report for New York City.

Either way, Audioburst Auto has the answer.

Audioburst’s AI-powered search and discovery platform takes your question and returns fresh, relevant short-form audio results sourced from thousands of podcasts and radio broadcasts.

When you need information on-the-go, “talk to Audioburst” Auto.

Just the facts

The Audioburst Auto experience focuses on our signature audio ‘bursts’ — short-form audio snippets that capture the best moments from long-form talk-audio content. Bursts ensure that the experience delivered to listeners consists only of the content they want with no fillers.

With bursts, drivers don’t need to divert their eyes from the road to fiddle with a radio dial or fast forward to a specific timestamp in a podcast. Audioburst Auto surfaces the content that you want, when you want it, freeing you up for the task at hand.

“Bringing Audioburst’s short-form focus in-car is a no-brainer. No more pressing buttons, no distracted driving, just quality talk-audio content whenever you need it.”

— Rachel Batish, VP of Product, Audioburst

Download + Drive

Ready to take Audioburst Auto for a spin? Download Audioburst Auto from Google’s Android Auto store and “talk to Audioburst” today!

Tips for distributing and promoting your first podcast

 

Welcome back to The Burst’s ‘Podcasting A-Z’ series!

In the first post of the series, I explained best practices for setting up your podcast for success. Next, we’re going to discuss podcast promotion basics that will help you grow your audience and stand out against the crowd. We’ll be touching on:

  • Syndicating your podcast
  • Social media for podcast promotion
  • Creating a podcast website
  • Encouraging listener interaction
  • Obtaining social proof
  • Leveraging your network

Syndication

An important fact about today’s consumer is that they have mad brand loyalty. From toothpaste to potato chips to podcast apps, people like what they like, and it can be challenging to get them to switch things up.

What does this mean in terms of distributing your podcast?

Since it’s difficult to motivate listeners to change their habits, your best bet is to distribute your show widely and have it be everywhere that they are.

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard via Audioburst Search

There are the obvious places to post your show, such as Apple PodcastsGoogle Play, and Spotify, but there are also many other platforms and podcatchers (apps that play podcasts) to consider. Here are a few to get you started:

Get social

Now that you have published, branded, and submitted your podcast to podcatchers far and wide, it’s time to hit the metaphorical pavement!

Social Media is one of the most effective ways to get the word out about your show. Most people are members of at least one social platform, so it’s a great way to reach current listeners as well as a logical place to recruit new ones.

As the two most well-known social media sites around, you’ll likely want to start with Twitter and Facebook. For Twitter, create accounts for both you (the host) and your show. On Facebook, you can begin with a show page.

Post on your show’s Twitter and FB page each time a new episode is released and on Twitter, have your host’s account retweet it. Your episode release posts should include a link to a platform where your followers can listen to the episode (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.) or if you have one, to the show notes section of your website. Even better than either of those, however, is to embed an audio player directly into your social post. Using an embedded player will allow your listeners to check out your new episode without even leaving the site. Also, consider pinning the post containing your most recent episode to the top of your feed for easy access.

The ladies from the parenting podcast One Bad Mother “are doing a great job” with their social media presence. They’re present and accounted for on both Facebook and Twitter:

One Bad Mother / Facebook
One Bad Mother / Twitter

They post on both platforms when episodes are released…

…and on Facebook, they’ve pinned the most recent show:

One Bad Mother / Facebook

Once you have Twitter and Facebook nailed down, you should think about your podcast’s intended audience before deciding where else you should have a social presence. It might be SnapchatPinterest, or in the case of One Bad Mother, Instagram:

One Bad Mother / Instagram

Instagram is an excellent platform to choose if your show is on a topic that would benefit from visuals (cooking, fashion, travel), if you’re selling merchandise, or if the listener demographic you’re attempting to attract are heavy users of the service (ex. Gen Z tends to prefer Instagram and Snapchat over other platforms).

Aside from showcasing any impressive visuals you may have, you can also post audio clips of your episodes like the OBM crew did here:

Other tips for promoting your show on social media:

  • Respond promptly and consistently

You want your followers to feel important and connected to you on a personal level, so be sure to respond to their tweets, comments, and messages right when they come in to encourage engagement.

  • Tag brands and influencers in your posts

Leverage the networks of people with more significant followings. Even one mention, share, or retweet from a big name can create a buzz and project credibility.

  • Use hashtags

Help people find you by effectively using hashtags. There are best practices for every platform, so to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your hashtags, check out this great post by Sprout Social on the topic.

  • Post in groups

There is a Facebook group for just about everything, which means that there is most certainly one for your show topic. There are even entire groups just for podcasters to promote their most recent episodes. Join relevant groups and become part of those communities. While some won’t let you post links, most will allow you to mention your show when you introduce yourself, and some have weekly threads where you can post your most recent episode in the post’s comments.

Even for groups where self-promotion is off the table, getting your name in front of other podcasters can help gain visibility.

Here are a few podcast-related groups to check out:

Have a website

One of the main challenges podcasters face is discoverability. The issue with discovery is two-pronged. On the one hand, podcasts are more in vogue than they’ve ever been. With thousands of shows in existence and new ones being created each day, competing for listeners’ time is a tough job. On the other hand, for the 7 out of 10 Americans familiar with podcasting, there are still 3 Americans who’ve never heard of it.

The best way to help both groups find your show is not just to be part of audio libraries and podcast directories but to also get your brand to surface on the one place where just about every person is: Google.

Being accessible via text-based search is critical, as it is going to get you listeners who may not know what a podcast is, but are interested in what you do.

Say you host a podcast about learning to play the clarinet. People who have a burning desire to pick up a woodwind instrument may not rush to Apple Podcasts to find out what brand of instrument to buy. They will, however, be on Google searching for ‘what brand of clarinet should I buy?’ When they do, that is when they will find the website for your podcast and the show notes for your episode covering just that.

When these prospective clarinetists land on your site, you want to have everything having to do with your podcast aggregated in one place. This will help them locate you on all of the social and podcast platforms you can be found on and let them learn more about you and your content.

An example of a well-done podcast website is the site for the podcast Serial.

Season 1 / Serial

The most successful season of any podcast ever created would probably be Season 1 of Serial. The season covered the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, a student at a Baltimore high school. While the story and its audio were captivating, there were a lot of details which were hard to keep track of while just listening to the audio.

Serial used their website to add a visual layer to their storytelling, posting copies of letters, pictures, timelines, and a ‘People Map’ online to give their listeners more information.

S1E1: The Alibi / Serial

Season 1: People Map / Serial

The show has taken different approaches to show artwork and the material posted on their site for each season, but in all cases, it gives listeners someplace to go when they want ‘more.’ They also have a nice menu that tells you where you can find them on the web, and how to listen to their show.

Navigation Menu / Serial

Still not sure what to include on your site? Here are some ideas:

Show notes for each of your episodes that include:

  • Podcast audio (preferably via an embedded player)
  • Episode summaries
  • Episode transcripts
  • Guest bios and contact info (if any)
  • Sponsor information (if any)

An ‘About’ page that includes:

  • General information about the show
  • Host bio

A ‘Contact Us’ section that includes:

  • Links to all of your social pages (FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
  • Either an email address or contact form

While building an attractive website and getting a custom domain may sound expensive and complicated, through the use of platforms like WordPressSquarespace, and Wix, you can get a website up and running quickly, for as little as $5 per month.

Encourage listener interaction

Avoid being a passive host, and instead, encourage listener interaction. Invite your listeners to email you, reach out on social, or give you a call. Ask them to let you know what they’d like to hear on your show, or to share their experiences on a topic you’re going to be covering in an upcoming episode.

The Gimlet podcast Reply All not only invites users to interact with them via email and social; they plan entire episodes around listener interaction.

In episode #139, hosts Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt opened up ‘The Reply All Hotline’ to take calls and help listeners solve their problems, “big and small.”

But call in shows aren’t the only listener-based episodes the show does.

Super Tech Support’ is another listener-based recurring segment on the show. In the segment Alex and PJ invite users to write or call in with their tech problems, then they pick an issue and dedicate an entire episode to resolving it:

In a recent airing of the segment, they tackled the issue of why the podcast 99% Invisible seems to break the stereo systems in Mazda vehicles. It’s a really good episode!

One of the things that make podcasting (and audio in general) so well-liked is the connection that the listener feels with the creator.

Welcome that bond and make an effort to bring your listeners into the fold. An engaged listener is likely to become an evangelist for your brand and recommend you to others. Many people get their podcast recommendations from friends, so get on people’s ‘must listen’ lists!

Seek social proof…ask for reviews

Whether we’re talking podcasts, restaurants, or a blender listing on Amazon, nothing spreads the word faster and encourages adoption more than a 5-star review.

There are many ways to encourage the review of your show; the easiest is to just ask.

This is Love is a podcast all about, well, love. Host Phoebe Judge (of Criminal fame) approaches asking for reviews in a very straightforward way. She inserts a call to action (CTA) seamlessly in the show credits by saying “If you like what we’re doing here with these love stories, please leave us a review on Apple podcasts.”

Simple as that. Take a listen for yourself….the CTA is at 0:42:

Listen to This is Love E12 Credits | Audioburst
Aired on This Is Love: This is love is created by Lawrence spore and me Nadya Wilson is our senior producer audio mixed…
search.audioburst.com

Another approach is to reach out to listeners via your social media channels following your episode drop and ask there. The Mad Scientist Podcast went this route and even included an incentive for leaving a review…a sweet sticker:

Along the lines of bribery, you can also try to get reviews by running contests via your social media channels where leaving a review for your show is part of the entry requirements:

No matter your approach, positive reviews are public-facing proof that you produce quality content that is worth listening to, and you can’t go wrong with that.

Leveraging your network

Once you have your content syndicated, a website up and running, and active social media channels, it’s time to start ramping up your promotional efforts. While the idea of networking may sound extremely overwhelming, the best advice is to start small and focus in on your own network.

Begin with letting your friends and family know about your new project. A great way to do that is to post on your personal social media accounts:

Aside from getting those close to you to download and listen, there’s a good chance that they’ll take the initiative and share with their networks. You can even ask them to:

Once everyone in your immediate circle is in the know, you can start to look at other connections in your life. Do you know anyone in the audio or podcast industry? Other podcasters, perhaps?

Earlier, we discussed joining podcast related social media groups as part of your social media strategy. These groups are an easy way to meet other podcasters and find people who are creating similar content. When you find someone whose audience you think has a crossover with yours, drop them a private message, introduce yourself, and ask if they might be open to plugging each other’s shows.

As for what types of cross-promotion you could do, maybe you could recommend each other’s podcasts in an episode, or on social media. Another method used by many pro-podcasters, especially those who are part of podcast networks is to put a sample episode for another show in your feed.

For example, the notable true crime podcast My Favorite Murder dropped an episode of Jensen & Holes: The Murder Squad into their feed back in April. The show was a new addition to Exactly Right Media, the podcast network created by the hosts of My Favorite Murder:

Jensen and Holes: The Murder Squad Episode 1 via the My Favorite Murder feed in Overcast

While it’s true that this is an easier feat to accomplish when part of a network because the network handles the negotiations, there’s no reason it can’t work for you too. You’ll never know until you ask, so reach out and start networking!


Thanks for reading the second post in our ‘Podcasting A-Z’ series. The third and final post in the series will be tackling next step promotion tactics…stay tuned!

Tips for planning, publishing, and branding your first podcast

 

Here at Audioburst, we feel that podcasting is a great way to share your thoughts, personal experiences, and unique point of view with the world and the American public agrees! 70% of the U.S. population is familiar with the medium and 32% have listened within the last month. (Edison Research)

Even more staggering is the news that there are now over 700,000 podcasts in the Apple Podcast directory!

With competition this steep, it can be overwhelming for a new podcaster to figure out how to set up a podcast for success… but never fear! We’ve put together a series of posts to get you from podcast novice to pro in no time.

In this first post, we’re going to talk about:

  • Planning your podcast

Before you begin

The most important place to start when thinking about how to promote your podcast comes before even recording your first second of audio. Taking a moment to sketch out why you are creating a podcast and who your target audience is will help you clarify your goals for the project.

Start by writing down the basics:

When approaching the ‘why’ and ‘what’, you might want to take a look at this post from the NPR Training series.

It advises you to be intentional and ask yourself some “deep and difficult, even existential questions” such as:

  • What is this idea? No, really. What is it?

The answers for the rest of the questions (who, where, and how) are the qualities that make up your ideal listener.

Here is a ‘burst’ from the Duct Tape Marketing podcast discussing how you can define your ideal client….or in this case, your ideal listener:

Listen to Defining your ideal client | Audioburst
Aired on Duct Tape Marketing: marketing strategy started really and on course as you have to think about how you can…
search.audioburst.com

Knowing your target audience will help you focus in on the type of podcast you’re going to make, as well as where you will ultimately choose to promote your show.

If you’re struggling on where to begin, start by looking at podcasts in the genre your show will be part of:

  • What social media channels do they have a presence on?

Examine these questions for several shows and see if there’s any crossover or patterns. You should start to see what kind of person listens to this type of podcast. From there you can sketch out how your perfect listener is similar and more importantly, how they are different.

Providing quality content is a must

Once you know who your audience is, it’s time to sit down and actually start creating content.

Many people will tell you how easy it is to create a podcast, and while they’re not wrong in the sense that the medium is highly accessible and requires minimal equipment, this accessibility can be a double-edged sword.

The market is highly saturated and if you’re not producing quality programming, all of the promotion in the world won’t convince listeners to stick with your show.

So, what makes quality content?

Excellent sound

Making a show sound good is equal parts recording and editing.

Everything from choosing the right equipment and recording environment to how you handle discourse markers (filler words like um, uh, etc) can have an effect on your finished product.

For tips on how to master the sound of your show, take a look at this post from Buzzsprout’s blog. It gives the following pointers for creating a great sounding podcast:

Source: How to Record, Edit, and Mix a Great Sounding Podcast via the Buzzsprout Blog

Planning

While it may be tempting to just hop in front of the mic and start talking, a little planning can go a long way.

Wondering what a podcast script might look like?

The Parents on Demand (POD) Network produced a video which has some great tips on script writing and delivery that will help step up your content game:

Why Your Podcast Needs a Script or Outline via YouTube

In the video, Sunny Gault walks you through one of her own scripts step by step. When it comes to advice on how to write scripts of your own, she suggests that you:

  • Think about your show in sections and block them out, including how long each section might run

Gault also advises that half of the battle of recording a semi-scripted podcast episode is the delivery.

Her recommendations for producing natural-sounding audio are:

  • Pretend you’re talking to one person

Pro tip: The linked script above is a google doc which Gault has made available for anyone to use. She suggests saving it to your own drive so that you can use it as a template for your show’s script. Check it out!

Naming your podcast

If you haven’t already picked a name, it’s time.

Podcast hosting platform Messy.fm suggests making your show name both memorable and search-friendly by thinking of the two items separately:

The Title’s job is to be memorable — something catchy, fun, a little inside-jokey, that listeners will easily remember.

      

      

The Sub-title’s job is to be search-friendly — have descriptive keywords that give more information about what exactly the show is about that are also likely terms a potential listener would type into the podcast directory when they are searching for a show like yours.

Once you’ve found a name you like, be sure to run it through a username check tool –there is nothing more disappointing than choosing a name and then finding out that every username even remotely related is already taken!

Bonus: Even if your name isn’t taken on the username check tool, just do a quick Google search to make sure your chosen name isn’t being used somewhere online. This will come in handy when you begin to think about SEO, social media marketing, and creating a website.

Select a reliable host

You have the audio, now where to put it?

As you might suspect from the name, a podcast hosting platform is the service that ‘hosts’ the audio files for your show.

Aside from providing an easy way for you to store your episodes in the cloud, a host is often who will supply you with your RSS (‘rich site summary’ or ‘really simple syndication’) feed, which allows you to easily distribute your content to podcast apps, directories, and audio search engines like Audioburst 😉

(Note: You can also create your own RSS feed, but it can be a bit more complicated. To find out more about RSS feeds and how to create your own, listen to this podcast episode of ‘The Audacity to Podcast’)

These days there are many hosting services out there and choosing one will come down to your specific needs.

The factors you will want to consider when researching are:

  • Storage: How many episodes can you store?

To get you started on your search for the perfect host, here are some widely used platforms to consider: BlubrryLibsynBuzzsproutPodBeanSpreakerAnchorMessy

Creating content for the ‘Netflix’ generation

We’re living in a world where dropping an entire season of a TV show all in one day is the norm, and while podcast listeners are used to having to wait a week to hear the next installment, should you consider queuing up two or three episodes for your launch date?

There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there on whether or not this is a good idea, however here are a couple of things to consider when making your decision:

Ease of production

How long does it take for you to research, record, and produce an episode of your podcast? Will stockpiling episodes push back your launch?

Is your content evergreen?

Podcasts tied to current events may not work as well when recorded too far in advance.

Launching with multiple episodes can give your new listeners the chance to get to know your work, create more opportunities for engagement, and help build anticipation for your next release, however, if your episodes take a long time to produce or your content is reliant on timeliness, then it might do more harm than good.

When it comes to determining success, there are plenty of shows on each side of the argument.

In the Dark, an investigative journalism podcast whose first season focused on the 1989 Jacob Wetterling kidnapping case took the approach of having two episodes queued up for their 2016 launch day:

Episode list for In the Dark via Overcast

In contrast, Gimlet Media’s Homecoming podcast, a scripted fiction program that would later be picked up for TV production on Prime Video, didn’t launch with any additional episodes:

Episode list for Homecoming via Overcast

Both podcasts have done well despite their different choices on episode count at launch. One might speculate on reasons for each approach, such as Homecoming’s star-studded cast (Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, and David Schwimmer) not requiring as much build up as the 27-year old true crime case featured in season one of In the Dark.

However, with such strong, quality content, it’s likely that both productions would have been successful regardless of how many episodes they dropped on launch day.

Probably the best advice one can follow when it comes to making this decision is from Colin Gray on an episode of The Podcast Host:

“When it comes down to it, what we’re saying is don’t procrastinate. If creating three is going to make you hold back for ages on launching then don’t bother. Just put one out and see what happens…Whatever helps you get your show out quicker is better.”

 

Think about branding

As audio people, we’re definitely all about the content, however, in the land of marketing, packaging can be just as important.

Yes, we’re talking about cover art.

We know, we know. You’re a podcaster, not Andy Warhol. Don’t worry. You don’t have to do it yourself, nor do you need tons of money to get something designed.

The first thing to do when considering artwork is to think about the personality or ‘voice’ of your podcast. Is your show more:

  • Funny or Serious?

The reason you examine your show’s voice is to ensure that whatever art you create is in-line with who you are.

Here’s an example:

Cover art for the Still Buffering podcast

Still Buffering is a podcast hosted by three sisters. Sydnee and Teylor were teenagers in the 1990s, whereas their younger sister Rileigh recently finished her freshman year of college. Each week the three ‘Smirl Girls’ compare and contrast their teenage experiences.

The show is personal, funny, and relatable. To relay this feeling, the show uses artwork that shows each sister’s individual personality. The handwritten tagline almost gives off the feeling of a diary, or school notebook, drawing back to the subject of their show.

For other examples, you might look to podcasts that have the same feel as your show.

Podcast ‘Comedy Classics’ in the iTunes store

What characteristics does their artwork focus on? A clean image of the host? The show’s title? Once you’ve eyed the competition, jot down a few ideas about what you’d like your cover art to look like. This can either be a few bullets on the copy, color scheme, and types of graphics you like, or you can sketch it out. Whatever you’re comfortable with.

Then you’re ready for design.

If you’re artistically inclined, you can take a stab at it yourself, or alternatively, you can look into getting artwork designed by a freelancer through a service like Fiverr or Upwork. While prices on the platforms vary, you should be able to find an option for just about any budget.

Search results on fiverr

Want to up the ante? While you’re at it, you may want your designer to whip up artwork for your show’s future social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc).

For info on formatting requirements for various platforms check out Sprout Social’s Always Up-to-Date Guide to Social Media Image Sizes.


We hope these tips have inspired you to take your podcast idea from paper to reality. Stay tuned for the next post in this series where we will discuss the basics of promoting your podcast and amplifying your reach.

It’s news to no one that in 2019, content consumption is at an all-time high. We’re living in an age of dawn to dusk connectivity where it’s extremely difficult not to be distracted by the next news story, viral meme, or cat video.

One thing that might be surprising, however, is that even with well-known channels like Netflix and YouTube constantly vying for our attention, audio is still a primary format for popular content consumption.

  • 92% of Americans listen to the radio each week (Nielsen)
  • Streaming audio has become a weekly habit for 60% of Americans, with the average American spending 16 hours and 43 minutes listening to online audio per week (Edison Research)
  • Podcasting is also taking off, with American’s share of time listening to podcasts has grown 122% since 2014 (Share of Ear)
  • Podcast revenues are forecasted to reach $659 million by 2020, a 110% hike from 2017 (IAB)

More and more listeners are grabbing their headphones and tuning in, but in a culture where most people can’t even get through dinner without checking their smartphone, can audio really be as captivating as these statistics imply?

In a World Always Looking to the Next Big Thing, Why Audio?

Instead of asking why audio, you might start by asking, “Why anything but audio?”

For the majority of human history, communication has primarily been carried out through the oral tradition. It’s only in the last 6,000 years that anything else has been in existence.

Human language is thought to have developed around 200,000 BCE, with no evidence of symbol usage present until around 30,000 BCE when the first examples of cave paintings appear. Fast forward through the Upper Paleolithic period, it isn’t until 3500–2900 BCE that we see the early signs of written communication emerge with the Sumerians’ invention of the cuneiform and later, the Egyptian’s development of hieroglyphs.

While the Phoenician alphabet came around 1050 BCE, it still took another 3,000 years to get us to email, smartphones, and the internet, with the majority of today’s tech innovations occurring in the last 200 years.

Graphic: Conversation Design by Erika Hall

Throughout all of these advances in delivery, the oral tradition persisted. In fact, no matter what “the next big thing” is, we always seem to revert to voice.

The invention of the printing press, film, and the electric telegraph were answered with the telephone, phonograph, and radio, indicating that the urge to connect, preserve, and share ideas through voice and sound is an innate human desire.

Today we are in the midst of another audio renaissance.

Though much of the last 70 years focused on 20th-century advances like television, video, computers, and the internet, all of these technologies, while aiming to bring people together, have instead helped create the detached, complicated, and hurried lives we live today.

The response? Looking for connection in a more intimate form. As such, people are yearning to return to audio and voice, a more natural, personal, frictionless medium.

A New Era of Audio

In an article from the Atlantic, Emma Rodero, a communications professor at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, is quoted as saying, “Audio is one of the most intimate forms of media because you are constantly building your own images of the story in your mind and you’re creating your own production…and that of course, is something that you can never get with visual media.”

This intimacy, personalization, and connection to content are the driving forces of this new era of audio.

Today’s listeners are from a generation where choice and on-demand experiences are the norm. They only seek audio they can genuinely relate to on a visceral level, and anything else is just noise.

Aside from listening experiences needing to be personally relatable, contemporary audiences are looking for media that can adapt to a life of constant transition. Audio content is innately portable and available across virtually all popular devices and platforms. This ease in mobile consumption makes audio the natural choice for people on the go.

Lastly, modern audio is built around a lifestyle of multi-tasking.

Unlike video or print, audio is not reliant on visual or tactile interaction with its delivery device. Audio is in your ear, and easily controlled through voice technology, making the listening experience as hands-off and screen independent as is dictated by a given situation. Whether navigating through heavy traffic, working out, or the more mundane task of brushing teeth, the ability to consume content while focus is elsewhere is an absolute must.

With Popularity Comes Growing Pains

As the demand for audio content has risen, the space has grown increasingly saturated. The influx of content and interest has created many challenges, but some of the main pain points center around Discoverability, Accessibility, and Monetization.

Discoverability

A recent blog post by Chartable notes that “in 2018, an average of 575 podcasts were started every day — that’s about one podcast every three minutes” and TechCrunch noted last June that “Apple Podcasts currently hosts north of 550,000 active shows.”

That is a lot of podcasts.

Given the sheer amount of content being put onto the metaphorical airwaves each day, it becomes near impossible for listeners to uncover new material that might be relevant to their interests as there are no tools to navigate the space.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, podcasters want to step in and get their content in front of the right audience, but being heard above the din of the crowd is extremely difficult.

Podcasts, however, are not the only format struggling.

Traditional AM/FM radio remains the most consumed form of audio, but it has a major Achilles Heel that is rarely discussed. In a world where every aspect of life is documented, shared, and forever preserved, terrestrial radio fades into the ether post-broadcast.

There is no easy way to easily revisit or share a favorite moment from a radio story — even if it was streamed.

While some radio broadcasts are archived online, it’s usually in large audio files, which may or may not include show notes or segment timestamps.

The magic of audio is nestled in those small snippets of content that you want to preserve and share, but when people don’t even have the time to listen to a podcast at normal speed, who has the time to dig through hours of content for 30 seconds of audio? Or worse yet, go through a database of hundreds of thousands of podcasts looking for something relevant?

Without a way to search through all of this audio contextually, there is no way to create the personal, intimate listening experiences that today’s audiences demand.

Accessibility

Cloud-based services have taught consumers to expect media to smoothly flow with them from one device to another, from one task to the next. Listeners need to be able to seamlessly move from the car to their office to making dinner, all without having to pause.

While great strides towards this goal have been made, for all audio aside from music, the results are a mixed bag.

Smart speakers still haven’t fully embraced podcasts, and when it comes to the news, they rely on flash briefings from a computerized voice.

Advances in artificial intelligence have made smart assistants more personable; though it still isn’t the same as hearing content in its original voice .

Native audio in cars allow for content direct from radio sources, but access to podcasts still requires a peripheral device. Smartphones, tablets, and computers do the best job of providing seamless listening experiences, but users still must rely on multiple applications to fully meet their listening needs.

Another barrier to users accessing audio is the modern-day problem of context-switching.

While you might not consider this an obvious barrier to the medium, the issue crystalizes when you consider how distracted and overwhelmed we are as a society. An infographic by Inc. notes that we spend an average of just 1 minute and 15 seconds on a task before being interrupted.

That is not a lot of time. To make it worse, Inc. also points out that it takes a whopping 25 minutes to resume a task once interrupted.

With the average radio show lasting 2–3 hours and podcasts usually coming in at 30–45 minutes, finding an audio format that will meet the distracted listener where they are is a huge challenge.

Monetization

It is often reported that podcasting is easy to get into because all you need is your voice and a recording device, and while technically true, the idea is misleading. Even if the host chooses to go with a minimalist equipment setup, podcasts also require substantial time commitments for not only recording, but for research, editing, and promotion.

The adage ‘time is money’ may be cliche, but for a reason. Many podcasters embrace sponsorship, reading out commercials about everything from mattresses to underwear in order to bring in revenue to sustain production, but if your show doesn’t have a large following, sponsorship deals can be sparse.

Companies and App Developers also struggle with audio monetization. The two populations see the benefit of adding audio to their products — increased engagement and retention. However, beyond avoiding churn, what else is in it for them?

Companies, Developers, Creators, and Listeners all feel the draw to audio, but still aren’t exactly sure how to get content when they want, how they want, and how to benefit from it once they have it.

What is needed to resolve these pain points is a native audio solution that will:

  • Work in an omnichannel setting
  • Be tailored to a multi-tasking world
  • Present both deep and contextual audio content
  • Personalize the listening experience
  • Give companies actionable listening insights
  • Shed light on the monetization possibilities of audio

It’s a tall order to fill, but there is a solution that is up to the task.

Connecting Listeners to the World’s Audio Content

Audioburst’s vision is to empower the proliferation of ideas, knowledge, and perspectives through universal access to the world’s audio content. The best way to do this in a hectic, fast-paced world is to make sure that you’re meeting users where they are…

…and the best way to do that is to be everywhere.

Audioburst works with the world’s leading companies in seamlessly integrating next-gen audio content solutions to increase user engagement, gain valuable insights from audio analytics and listening data, and create new revenue streams for brands and content creators.

We provide not only access to content, but also the tools that it takes to navigate that content, which in turn, eases the friction of interacting with audio for companies, developers, creators, and ultimately, listeners.

How it Works

Using Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), Audioburst listens, distills, contextualizes, and indexes audio content from both podcasts and radio into bite-sized “bursts,” diffusing the noise, and creating the short-form building blocks required for deeply personalized, immersive listening experiences, ideal for the busy lives of today’s listeners.

We then partner with companies to seamlessly integrate our solutions into their products through the use of our easy to implement APIs.

This opens the door to data-driven audio content experiences, including personalized playlists based on listening identities, real-time audio alerts for user-specified terms, and access to a robust audio search engine that provides results not based solely on keywords, but also intent, context, and timing.

Our solutions form a complete audio ecosystem that removes the difficulties of navigating a densely populated audio landscape:

Discoverability

Radio broadcasts that previously went uncaptured and podcasts that got lost in the shuffle are now easily accessible with the help of a powerful AI-driven audio search engine that draws on context and listener identities to provide a customized experience.

Accessibility

With Audioburst technology baked into a diverse array of products and applications, the on-the-go user can easily move between multiple devices, our personalized listening experience providing short form, digestible content that transitions with them without skipping a beat.

Audioburst Wizard

Distribution & Monetization

Partnerships with leading brands such as Bose, Samsung, and LG allow content creators to benefit from increased distribution and visibility, while both partners and creators gain access to new monetization opportunities via rev-share.

Data & Analysis

Partners and Developers benefit from access to essential listening data and audio content analytics that can unlock what drives customers — their interests, behaviors, and values.

Audio is here to stay

It’s an exciting time for both Audioburst, and for audio itself as a vehicle for information, engagement, and entertainment.

Our focus remains on bridging the gap between knowledge and access, listening for new ways that we can ease any bumps in the road that get in the way of audio’s continued success.

While some might worry that audio is yesterday’s news, we take comfort in knowing that it will be tomorrow’s as well.

Audioburst and Blubrry Partner to Bring the Power of Audioburst Creators to the Blubrry Community

Last June, Audioburst unveiled a new platform for content creators and radio broadcasters, Audioburst Creators. This platform allows podcasters to instantly get full transcripts of their shows, edit our signature bursts (short-form audio snippets) as they please, take advantage of new monetization and distribution opportunities, and effortlessly share their content with the world, all for free.

After meeting a warm reception from early adopters, we are now pleased to partner with Blubrry, the leader in podcast hosting, to offer these same tools to their community.

Through this collaboration, new and existing Blubrry users will be able to opt in to Audioburst Creator’s suite of tools allowing them to transform their audio content into searchable, accessible, and shareable moments for the very first time.

How it works

Transcribe

Users enjoy automatic episode transcriptions within minutes of hitting publish. Each time a new episode of a creator’s show is added to the library, the transcript is emailed directly to their inbox for use in tagging, further content creation, and marketing efforts around SEO.

Edit

Automation and making everything easy is what Audioburst does best, but sometimes things need a human touch. Our editor puts users in complete control of their content, enabling them to create their own audio burst, capturing the perfect moment by sound or transcript.

Share

Bursts can be shared on popular social networks straight from the editor, or via a player embedded directly on a website for easy access. Users can also create video bursts within the platform to download and share on social, or upload to video platforms, such as YouTube and Vimeo.

Amplify

Audioburst facilitates increased discovery and distribution by including Creators content in our expansive audio content library, making it available via Audioburst Search and through distribution partners such as Samsung, LG, Bytedance, and Nippon Broadcasting Inc.

Earn

Creators have the opportunity to monetize their audio content with a competitive 15% revenue share going to all of Audioburst’s existing and forthcoming revenue partners.

A perfect match

Both Audioburst and Blubrry are excited to see Blubrry customers gain access to all that the Audioburst experience has to offer:

“Our mission is to empower podcasters and radio professionals with a robust solution for monetization, distribution, and discovery,” said Amir Hirsh, Co-Founder and CEO, Audioburst.

“The integration of our Audioburst Creators platform gives Blubrry’s thousands of creative community members the unmatched tools to transcribe audio content, increase exposure, and earn money.”

Todd Cochrane, CEO of Blubrry added, “This partnership with Audioburst is exciting for our Blubrry customers as I’ve been a big fan of their technology for some time. The audio bursts, automated transcripts and indexing of audio content will allow Blubrry customers to reach new listeners and engage with a wider audience.”

 

Learn More

Interested in giving it a spin? Sign up for Audioburst Creators or check out us out on Blubrry!