It seems like everyone has a podcast these days. It is no surprise when 31 percent of Americans and 22 percent of Britons access at least one podcast a month, according to the last Reuters Digital News Report. Meanwhile, Spotify and Apple Podcasts continue to invest in podcasting and are making it possible for users to become paid subscribers for individual creators' shows.
In 2019, The Telegraph doubled down on its podcast strategy by launching a dedicated audio team. At the helm is Theodora Louloudis, head of audio, who steered the team to a 120 percent increase in listener figures in that first year through its four main weekly shows. Since then, the team has been expanding, their shows are becoming more ambitious and picking up awards, and their audio strategy is only just revving up.
We often think of The Telegraph as a legacy, print news organisation. Its pivot to audio represents an attempt to discover a different news audience and another conversion point for consumers to become paid digital subscribers, feeding into the publication's north star vision. It has also meant, however, that the newsroom has had to change its stance on workflows, deadlines and team management.
Ultimately Louloudis feels those teething pains are worth it from both a commercial and an editorial perspective: by switching up your digital offering, you have unlock powerful new options to cover timely news updates as well as the longer and more complex narrative stories.
In this week's podcast, she shares her lessons on how to introduce audio-first journalism into your newsroom.