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It is easier to monetise short form podcasts & target new audiences

The benefits of short form podcasts are clear

The rise of short form audio

Pierre Or'lach, Founder and Co-Director, Bababam, France, Clare Johnston, Strategic Development Partner, DC Thomsonm, France, Sylvian Le Figaro, France Moderator: Sarah Toproff, Publisher Manager, Bababam, USA

Sarah began by saying podcasts have gotten shorter and in this session we are talking about podcasts that are 3-6 minutes and why they are being made.  She asked the speakers to introduce themselves.

Sylvian said Le Figaro is one of the main newspapers and websites in France and they created a short form podcast about philosophy.  Ciara Johnston said DC Thomson had a major digital transformation last year and were looking at ways to connect with people.  They decided on a 5 min daily format.  It starts with local headlines, then a topic from the newsroom who go more in depth with a story to connect local people and open up our journalism.  Pierre said that at Bababam they help people who have heard about something but they don’t really know, Maintenent Vous Savez aim is to answer that.  It’s now being produced in English and other languages.

Sarah said we are looking at fulfilling a need with short form. Sylvian agreed and said they studied the market and realised nothing existed, so created it.  At Le Figaro the journalists create podcasts but they are writers and editors, and they wanted to involve all the journalists because it needs to be in accordance with our editorial line.  Philosophy is taught in school in France, most of the listeners to the philosophy podcast are young people.

Pierre said that Maintenent Vous Savez has spin offs and it is easier to create several short spin off podcasts, and with podcasts there is a freedom; if we need 3 mins we use 3 but if we need 5 we need 5.  We hire or producers and it is a way in as a first job, we aim to launch new voices in short form.

The Courier Daily wasn’t easier to launch than a long form podcasts as it is resource intensive but more about how it is expected to be consumed and the time of day.  It is intended for the morning, although you can listen at any time, and it is short out of respect for the audiences time.

Sarah said one reason to launch a short form is they are really bingeable.  If you have 30 mins of someone’s time, you could get 10 downloads instead of 1.  She asked the panel beyond that what is the audience growth strategy

Sylvian said that they publish through articles, and put more audio content with more articles.  Pierre added he is not talking to the same listeners as long form podcasts.  Short form podcast listeners are more interested in a specific subject or story.  It is about the content.  Sarah summarised by saying someone might not be looking for a podcast but discover it, creators can meet their audience where they are instead of inviting them in.

Sarah asked about monetisation of podcasts.  Pierre replied you have to think differently - you can’t have a 1 min host read, so it needs to be short and efficient.  But it is easier to monetise short form and we are able to target new audiences and also to scale and adapt or translate short form is easier than long form.  Ciara added that listeners will listen to the entire podcast, which advertisers like.

Question - different genres that are working or mostly factual and news?  Pierre said they need to separate strategies between short form and long form.


Written by
Rosie Smith

Tue 4th October 2022