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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - May 2019

How audio is becoming the third great format for publishers

Audio is growing at a tremendous rate. It is starting to become the third big format for every publisher to integrate into their mix, and it should no longer be considered a separate format.

In this article, we are going to talk about this trend. We are going to look at the many different aspects of audio, and the potential it brings.

Then in my next article (available here), we are going to take a much closer look at Zetland, the Danish newspaper that has turned audio into the very thing that drives their audience. We are going to talk about their model and their system, we are going to talk about the strategy, and also very importantly, their production flow that makes all this possible.

But first, what do I mean by audio becoming the third big format for publishers? Isn't it already a big format?

Well, yes, but it goes much further than that. To explain what is happening, let's slightly sidetrack the discussion for a second and let me ask you a simple question.

What is video?

I want you to tell me how you would define video in the digital age.

You see the problem is that you can't actually answer this. Video today is so many different things. We have movies and TV shows, but there is a big difference between whether they are on a cable TV channel, on Netflix, or on the upcoming 'brand' Disney+. While the format might be the same, the business model isn't.

And we have many other forms of video. We have YouTube videos, which range from on-going series, to news reports, to random videos uploaded by someone without any real plan.

We have Twitch streams, ranging from maybe a half-hour TV-like show, to 4-5 hour live streams with fans.

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What is Baekdal?

Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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