Podcast or Audcast — Telling captivating stopwatch stories

If used creatively and efficiently, Audcasts can be the ticket to widespread recognition, says Karan Gupta, Managing Director at Zirca Digital Solutions

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Karan Gupta

Best described as “radio on demand”, podcasts have steadily gained traction over the past few years as both a content medium and a marketing opportunity. They ensure a captive audience for brands to capitalise on. However, creating podcasts is not an easy task for most brands, yet the obstacles involved in filling a 30-minute time slot should not be a reason to abandon a medium entirely. There’s a more fitting solution instead, one that’s easier for brands to execute without being intrusive.

We call it an Audcast.

Audcast in a nutshell

There’s debate about whether our attention spans are shortening over the decades, and estimates put it at anywhere between eight seconds to 30. But what is certain is that the convenience of the internet and social media has groomed audiences to channel surf like never before. Swipe, scroll, tap, finger always hovering over the “skip” button.

That’s why audcasts are much shorter than your average podcast, bite-sized snippets of anywhere between five and 30 seconds. These ‘digital snacks’ rely on repetition to create simple punchy messages that instil an information bias. It’s a recurring message inserted into a digital audio stream that talks to the consumer without being intrusive.

Hints, echoes, whispers…

- Short, recurring reminders

- For users of digital audio content

- Non-intrusive and easy to absorb

- Demand lower attention

- Cost-effective and easy to produce

 Why Audcast?

Audcast help navigate the digital audio environment through a simple yet elegant solution, one that focuses on unsubscribed users happy to use a streaming service with ads for free. They act as gentle reminders that have a lower attention demand on the listener and can be disseminated through a variety of audio and streaming services. They’re short, identifiable, and hyper focused to simply say, “Hey”. Think of it as the digital audio equivalent of a catchphrase or a mantra that burrows into the subconscious. So, when you hear it, you know exactly what it is you’re listening to.

Audcast are the key path to an audience that lives online but avoids screen time. Users are still choosing the audio content they want to listen to, and then going about their day as the music, audiobook, or talk show plays in the background. Audcasts capitalise on this by speaking to that audience, without interrupting their real-life activities or their stream of thought.

Because audcasts are shorter than their longer runtime cousin the podcast, the benefit is two-fold. A segment a few seconds long is easier and much more cost-effective to produce, and the repetition it enables can create an indelible impact when building a brand’s identity.

Why now?

The increasing popularity of digital audio over radio shows no signs of slowing down. In fact in India, 86.2% of Internet users between the ages of 16-64 consumed digital audio content in H1 2019. Specifically, polls indicated that music streaming alone took up an average of one hour and 44 minutes of a person’s day on average.

 When users like these switch off their stream of consciousness and turn up the volume on their music, it’s imperative that the messaging they receive remains in step. Researchers have long since postulated that a musical environment encourages listeners to absorb what they’re listening to and dissociate from external triggers to an extent. Audcasts can walk that fine line, bringing a brand’s messaging to an audience without disrupting their flow and having them feel “betrayed” by an ad.

 Then there’s also the rising usage of voice search in India (54.7%), on the backs of increasing sales of smart speakers and other digital assistant-enabled devices, which also holds great promise for the future of the digital audio market.

If used creatively and efficiently, Audcasts can be the ticket to widespread recognition. It can help a brand put their identity into the minds of their audience and become their own buzzword.

And, done right, all it takes is a few seconds.

Zirca Digital Solutions Karan Gupta Podcast or Audcast