Commentary

Publishers See Higher Loyalty From Daily News Podcasts

Publishers are gaining more insights into how podcasts can help  build a more loyal following among younger audiences, presenting a growing revenue opportunity in audio sponsorships. The demand for daily news podcasts is outstripping current supply, according to a study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Daily news podcasts are less than 1% of all those produced by media companies, yet they make up more than 10% of overall downloads in the United States, according to Reuters' analysis of publicly available data. Apple last year started to break out "daily news" in its directory of podcasts, making it easier to track their numbers.

The New York Times helped to pioneer the format with its popular "The Daily" podcast, creating a model that publishers worldwide have copied. However, Reuters identified three other genres of news podcasts that have become more popular: the extended chat, the concise news round-up and microbulletins for smart speaker devices.
Extended chat consists of roundtable discussions in a flexible format, such as the BBC's Newscast, NPR Politics and BuzzFeed's News O'Clock. News round-ups brief listeners throughout the day and include the Financial Times' FT News Briefing and BBC Global Podcasts. Microbulletins are typically no longer than 60 seconds, as seen with the BBC Minute or NPR News Now, according to Reuters.
The Wall Street Journal has a comprehensive group of podcasts, ranging from its "Minute Briefing" to its 20-minute show called "The Journal." In between are shorter round-ups of about 10 minutes, covering topics such as technology and personal finance.
Of course, podcasts take specialized manpower that publishers need to consider when developing audio content. The NYT's "The Daily" has a dedicated production team of 15 people to research topics, arrange interviews with sources and develop stories, as Reuters notes.
“Publishers see daily news podcasts as a crucial way to attract younger audiences and to engage them more deeply with their brands," according to its report. "News organizations pursuing subscription business models say podcasts — specifically daily news podcasts — help increase loyalty and reduce churn.”

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