— audioBoom News (@audioBoomNews) abril 24, 2015
By Antia Geada and Agustin Palacio
The AudioBoom digital news team is facing its first big challenge: covering the upcoming General Election.
The team was created at the beginning of the year, specialising in covering international news, as it aimed to be not only a platform where others share audio, but also a publisher in its own right.
Team leader David Marsland has joined this group, which is now focused on engaging people in politics in the run up to the general election. He says:
“People don’t get involved with politics that much outside of the election’s time. But with the elections approaching, we are getting a lot of listeners for all of our political staff.”
Marsland coordinates between the London headquarters – where he works along with four people – and the company’s other two offices of the company in New York and Sidney.
“Probably we have some of the best election coverage in Britain right now, because we have people from the Financial Times, the BBC and The Times.”
How AudioBoom works as a platform and a publisher
As both a social network and a recording tool, AudioBoom maintains a curious relationship with – and between – other media organisations.
Tania Snuggs, head of the outreach team, explains how they manage the audio content that they receive:
“Anything that is in our platform, we are able to share it out to our audience.
“If Sky Sports has an interview with Wayne Rooney, for example, we can offer that to The Sun, Mirror etc. They can embed it into their web pages and complete the coverage that they already have.
“It is a win-win. We always help our customers showing what they are doing with the listens, giving demographic information, age etc.”
The service is free for anyone to share their podcasts, so where does the money come from? Partly advertising. “Before a clip you have few seconds of spoken word or video ad. It is similar to what YouTube does.”
AudioBoom claims to be the biggest spoken audio platform on both web and mobile. The company works with 2,000 content partners, uploading 600 hours of audio every day and reaching an audience of over 3 million registered users.
But that claim to be the biggest “spoken audio” platform is a way of differentiating themselves from their biggest competitor: Soundcloud.
“First at all, Soundcloud is concentrated on just music and uploading music to the websites. They cannot record. They do not have that functionality.”
There’s also another big competitor: traditional radio. And it’s perhaps surprising that while services such as AudioBoom and SoundCloud are changing the way people listen to the radio, Snuggs believes that that FM radio “will be around for a long time.”
Antia and Agustin are both students on the MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University.