There’s something happening, at least I’m noticing it. And I’m paid to be a noticer. Audiobooks have been a thing for a long time, even though I just recently got into them.
But audio short stories and audio serialized storytelling seem like new things to me.
This Etgar Keret short story showed up in my SoundCloud feed this past week and the Gotham Gal and I listened to it yesterday afternoon in our home via SoundCloud on Sonos.
As an aside, I really like following The New Yorker on SoundCloud. They have some great audio content, stories, interviews, etc.
At Thanksgiving dinner, our friend Sarah said she and her daughter were going to listen to The Serial Podcast on their drive the next day up to Vermont. So yesterday the Gotham Gal and I put this on in our car yesterday while we were running some errands.
Now we are hooked and we will probably start listening to the series in our apartment on SoundCloud on Sonos.
What’s behind all of this explosion of short audio content? Well for one, our phones have apps (like SoundCloud) which easily stream audio via bluetooth into our cars. We’ve talked a lot about this whole bluetooth streaming thing here at AVC. But it is also true that we have audio devices in our home, everything from a Jambox to a Sonos, that allow us to do the same thing while we are at home.
And audio is easier to consume when you are driving the car, washing the dishes, running on the treadmill, and many many other activities.
For a multi-media publisher, the business model is additional monetizeable audience for content they already are publishing in other mediums. I hope The New Yorker is OnSoundCloud. If not, they should be.
For a new publisher, like The Serial Pocast, it’s a bit trickier. They should be OnSoundCloud as well and I hope they are. But the revenue share they can get from SoundCloud may not pay all the bills for a while. In the interim, The Serial Podcast is soliciting listener donations here and recently announced that they have gotten enough support that they will be doing a second season. I donated $100 this morning.
Another megatrend supporting this new media, then, is crowdfunding. New content can be funded through a combination of ad revenue share from platforms like SoundCloud and listener support raised on the Internet from the crowd. And I’m sure there are many other ways to monetize that either exist today or will come together in time for storytellers who want to leverage the audio medium.
All I know is that the innovation in this sector is exciting and encouraging. If you are looking for something to drink your coffee with this morning, I’d highly recommend both of those audio shorts I posted. Enjoy.