Not everyone loves the camera. In fact, there are some incredibly dynamic people that simply freeze at the sight of the camera red-recording button! So how do they tell their story? how do they share their content?
They would typically write a book, post an article or record an audio message. For the “audio only” people, Facebook has some great news – it is introducing Live Audio! Think Podcasting but this time to a Facebook audience via the Facebook app.
Who even listens to podcasts?
According to Edison Research, 55% of people over 12 years old in the USA are aware of what a “podcast” is which equates to around 150 million people in 2016. An Estimated 98 million people have listened to podcasts in 2016 and 57 million listen to Podcasts on a monthly basis. On a weekly basis, an estimated 35million people stream podcasts listening to around 4 hours 10 minutes per week – usually listening to an average of 5 podcasts per week.
What is also interesting is that 71% listen to podcast on their mobile device usually at home (53%) while others listen in the car (21%) or at work (14%).
Facebook ha clearly recognized that this is a growing market of people who want the old “Radio” without the pictures which could be keeping them company while they drive or work. Facebook said that “We know that people often like to listen to audio while doing other things; people using Android devices will be able to continue listening to a Live Audio broadcast even if they leave the Facebook app or lock their phones, while iOS listeners will be able to continue listening as they browse other parts of Facebook.”
For content creators, Facebook Audio opens a new avenue to engage with the audience. Video requires not only specialized skills but also requires a specific setup of a room, the correct lights, and good audio which is not always practical. Broadcasting audio requires a good microphone and can be don from anywhere.
Details are not available how the Audio format will be stored but I assume it will be go out “live” as a broadcast and just like video, it will be available to be shared to an audience that didn’t catch the live broadcast.
Is this a game-changer for podcasters?
Currently, a podcaster will produce a show (live or pre-record) and upload it to their service provider who hosts the show. The show is announced to the podcast subscribers who can listen to the new show. Podcasters work very hard to build that audience and gain subscribers. This is done via sharing the links on social media, conferences, meetups and encouraging audiences to share and rate the podcast hoping to attract new listeners.
Why Facebook is a game-changer is that:
- With the built-in ability to BOOST a Facebook post, podcasters will be able to pro-actively target their podcast to an audience that is not currently their audience. Facebook advertising allows the marketer to select audiences who are in their niche, who are most likely to engage with the content eg. all business owners who run an accounting firm would be ideal for a “finances for small business” podcast.
- What is also appealing is that new audiences don’t have to download and learn yet another application so the entire experience is retained within the familiar Facebook app. Installing and learning how to add RSS feeds is a big deterrent for new listeners – especially those who are not tech-savvy.
- Facebook is usually a quick-short-bust of text and video content. With Audio, podcasters will be able to broadcast long content as the audio will continue to stream and play (for Android users – iOS users will need to have the app open).
- Facebook users are also able to Like and Share the audio content with their friends and family in a familiar way and thereby encouraging a wider audience growth.
Facebook in rolling out the Facebook Audio to selected partners such as BBC World Service , LBC, Harper Collins, and authors Adam Grant and Brit Bennett. In 2017, Facebook will make this new format more broadly available to publishers and people.