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Spanish-language audio blows up

“In some ways, digital audio was made for the Spanish-language audience.”

Face to face. In 2019, audiences will define the sorts of relationships they want with their media, and they’ll increasingly demand real-world interactions.

Relationships won’t be vertical, but horizontal. Outlets that want to be successful will recognize this and continue offering their audiences online spaces, like private Slack, Facebook and WhatsApp groups to connect 1:1 with content creators. But these relationships won’t be (and shouldn’t be) limited to online interactions: in 2019, we’ll see a growing desire for IRL conversations that build stronger relationships between audiences and producers. I hope outlets and content creators will use these opportunities to have significant dialogues with audiences, and help readers and listeners understand how news is reported and why stories matter.

In early 2019 at Radio Ambulante we’ll be launching los Clubes de Escucha (listening clubs), in-person gatherings for people to listen together, talk about the stories we’ve produced, and build community around our content. Live events will be of increasing importance, not just for brand-building, but as opportunities to connect deeply with audiences we increasingly depend on.

Funders and grantmakers will support daring journalism entrepreneurs with an eye toward sustainability. Funders will recognize the need to support not only content creation, but also the creation of the business, legal and economic structures that make journalism sustainable. In other words, media funders in 2019 will understand that supporting journalism also means supporting forward-thinking journalism entrepreneurs from an early stage.

Spanish-language audio content will blow up in 2019, reaching not only Latin American audiences, but U.S.-based Latino listeners. There’s a huge opportunity coming for Spanish-language audio producers. The Latin American podcast market is showing real signs of life, with an exciting wave of producers, new shows, and growing audiences. In some ways, digital audio was made for the Spanish-language audience: With more than 400 million Spanish speakers from more than 20 countries, there is great potential to aggregate huge audiences with niche offerings. As dynamic, geo-located ads become the industry standard, the possibility of monetizing shows with large audiences spread across a dozen countries will become all the more enticing.

Carolina Guerrero is CEO and co-founder of Radio Ambulante.

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