Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Chasing subscriptions over scale, The Athletic wants to turn local sports fandom into a sustainable business — starting in Chicago
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Dec. 8, 2015, 3:02 p.m.
Audience & Social
facebook-app-cc

Could Facebook be the next big platform for podcasts?

WNYC is experimenting with sharing “audiograms” on social networks, taking advantage of Facebook’s new video player.

Would you log into your Facebook account and listen to a podcast?

In some ways, it could make a lot of sense: People are spending tons of time on Facebook anyway, so why not listen to some audio while you’re there?

WNYC is experimenting with this exact concept: On Tuesday, it published a new, full-length episode of Here’s the Thing to the podcast’s Facebook page. In the 48-minute episode, host Alec Baldwin interviews Jimmy Fallon.

Facebook doesn’t allow direct audio uploads, so the podcast was uploaded as a video file; the audio plays over a static image. WNYC is calling it an “audiogram.”

The audiogram had more than 12,000 plays a few hours after posting, though it isn’t clear whether users listened to the full 48 minutes.

“Previously, we and other audio production companies were limited to linking to our owned and operated audio players or third-party players or apps,” Delaney Simmons, WNYC’s social media director, said. “This experiment is different…you don’t have to leave Facebook to consume it and the content itself is uploaded directly into a product feature within the Facebook universe.”

WNYC is also experimenting with sharing shorter “audiograms” on Twitter, as it first did last year. It’s tweeted them from @WNYC in breaking news situations, and it’s shared clips from the New Yorker Radio Hour on that show’s Twitter account.

Limetown experimented with a similar concept for its early episodes, uploading audio-based teasers as video files with static images; each got a few thousand plays. Recently, though, Limetown has begun simply linking to the SoundCloud and iTunes pages for new episodes.

“The results were strong given our overall page size on Facebook (good distribution to non-fans of the page and view count), but retention was low, as I’ve heard was fairly common on Facebook, given auto-play and the nature of the News Feed,” Limetown creator Skip Bronkie told me Tuesday. “Given this, we never released a full episode on Facebook.”

But WNYC plans to continue its Facebook audiogram experiments, testing different lengths and designs.

“We’re taking a lot of cues from the TV industry,” Simmons said. “How can we forward-promote our episodes? Can we upload audio sneak peeks, bonus clips, and Facebook exclusive episodes?”

And, she said, background listening — where a listener streams a podcast while doing other activities — is an area of interest. WNYC is already developing background listening capabilities for its own platforms, and Simmons noted that the new Facebook video player allows users to watch a video in the lower righthand corner of the screen while scrolling through the rest of Facebook.

“If a native [Facebook] audio player becomes a reality, we hope it would act similarly,” Simmons said.

[photocredit}Photo by SimonQ錫濛譙 used under a Creative Commons license.[/photocredit]

POSTED     Dec. 8, 2015, 3:02 p.m.
SEE MORE ON Audience & Social
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Chasing subscriptions over scale, The Athletic wants to turn local sports fandom into a sustainable business — starting in Chicago
“It’s very easy today to be click-driven and produce articles that don’t have a lot of substance or depth and don’t cost that much to produce, but that dynamic is disappointing for fans who want higher-quality content.”
Hot Pod: We now have new, free rankings to show how podcasts stack up against each other
Plus: Parsing the RadioPublic announcement; premium podcast subscriptions; Bill Simmons oversimplifies things.
BuzzFeed is building a New York-based team to experiment with news video
It is the “center of a Venn diagram” between BuzzFeed Motion Pictures and BuzzFeed News.
What to read next
0
tweets
The Verge launches Circuit Breaker, a gadget blog-as-Facebook page
The Verge is launching a new gadget blog that is built for Facebook. (Articles will also run on The Verge’s website.)
0Millennial-focused local startup Charlotte Agenda is expanding its model to a second city, Raleigh
The North Carolina startup says it’s profitable and is looking to expand its reach — but it’s not seeking outside funding.
0With a scripted daily comedy news show, Mic looks to add a little late night TV to the social video mold
“We don’t just present a bunch of headlines and say what we think. Our videos are chock-full of facts and research.”
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Davis Wiki
Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism
INDenverTimes
The Christian Science Monitor
Slate
GateHouse Media
Apple
MediaBugs
National Journal
The Orange County Register
Crosscut
Upworthy