“No one really wants to read an article for 20 minutes.. But they are willing to listen to a serialised version of true, long-form investigative journalism”

By Hannah Craft and Nic Christensen

As print media revenues continue to decline, managing director of music streaming service Pandora, Jane Huxley has predicted that podcasting will be the perfect vehicle for long-form journalism.

Speaking last week at the Mumbrella360 conference on the panel ‘The future of radio in the digital world’, Huxley a former CEO at Fairfax Digital, said the rise in appointment-listening on her own platform showed the potential of audio as a delivery option for quality news.

“No one really wants to read an article for 20 minutes,” said Huxley. “But they are willing to listen to a serialised version of true, long-form investigative journalism.”

“I think podcasts are opening up really interesting opportunities for the owners of platforms, the owners of content, and through other industries that are forming new audiences through their ears.”

Huxley’s fellow panel members included Southern Cross Austereo CEO Grant Blackley, Holden chief marketer Geraldine Davies, Carat chief investment officer Ashley Earnshaw, and Triton senior vice president Mike O’Neill.

Blackley warned that there was currently a “land race” in the Australian podcasting space, and predicted that audience for the top 10 local podcasts would well exceed the rest of the market.

“We serve out about three-and-a-half million podcasts per week and we are doing a lot of work in that area,” said Blackley. “To see what is the core driver, what is the best content, how do we aggregate that content into a saleable, organised fashion for the marketplace.”

“We’re doing a lot of work in that area,” he said. “We do know that the top 10 podcasts will out-rate the next 50 by far.”

GM Holden chief marketer, Geraldine Davys, told the room that radio continues to be an important part of her business’s marketing mix.

“There’s no question that radio continues to be a strong and important part of our media mix,” said Davys. “Radio has really held its own because we’ve worked really hard to make sure that we’re building the right content.

“Radio still works very well in the auto environment, especially in retail. For the foreseeable future it works great with us.”

Asked if she would also be interested investing more in podcasting, Davys responded: “We have probably spent about 10 to 20% of our traditional audio budget on streaming, and will continue to invest in platforms that we know that our consumers are listening to.

“As marketers we are becoming the storytellers, and podcasting is another way to tell our brand story over time. It’s around ensuring that you also get the right user experience.

This article was originally published on Mumbrella