Speak up, arts organizations!

Do you have a Google Home or Amazon Echo yet? If not, it’s time to do some research to figure out what voice-activated device you should be testing in order to be competitive in the next 18-24 months. The future is voice!

Many of the arts administrators that I have met over the years have a love for listening to the arts. Interviews, music, lectures, podcasts, etc. are increasing a key component of professional development and consumption of entertainment.

The Canadian Podcast Listener is a recent study released by Audience Insights and Ulster Media. FYImusicnews shared some high-level findings:

  • Nearly 10 million Canadian adults have listened to a podcast in the last year
  • And that number is growing. More than 70% of past month listeners started during the previous 3 years with 41% beginning in the past year alone.
  • Respondents listen to podcasts to be entertained, hear interesting stories and learn something new.
  • There‚Äôs an appetite for Canadian content, with 47% of podcast listeners wanting to know more about what Canadian podcasts are available. Also, four of the top 10 podcasts respondents listened to in the last month were Canadian.
  • The CBC is a big player in homegrown content with repurposed radio shows.
  • Podcast listening peaks among 18-34-year-olds, among men, among those with a university education, and in households with more than $100K income.

So, it’s not just Netflix. Choose your own content in the audio sphere is on the rise, and arts organizations need to get in the game. The good news with new tools such as Anchor, you can release audio content on a number of platforms easily. Very few artists and arts organizations in Canada host podcasts, so this is a great time to start. The National Arts Centre has been hosting podcasts for years, and just released a new “We Love Canadian Music” cast.

How to get started with voice?

  • Listen. Check out my archived Ontario Presents blog about best podcasts for arts admins. I also highly recommend the CI to Eye podcast by Purely Interactive.
  • Experiment. Download the free Anchor app and give it a try. You can organize your thoughts and schedule using a free podcast editorial calendar.
  • Learn. Our local University radio station, CFRC, offers free workshops for those interested in starting their own podcast. Free!
  • Alexa. Amazon just recently released Alexa Skill Blueprints so you can create a customized Alexa Skill in a number of minutes. Check out what the Cleveland International Film Festival did with their film archive and Alexa.

How to COPE (create once post everywhere):

  • Create audio files that are uploaded to Soundcloud and can be shared on your website, social media, emails, etc.
  • Rip audio files from videos and repurpose them
  • Record one interview and edit it into shorter interviews to be released over a period
  • You can read some great tip about content stacking from Social Media Examiner.

Why this matters:

The market for relevant arts content through voice is significant and growing, but there are very few providers in Canada specifically offering this content. There is amazing growth opportunity to reach new audiences, and repurpose content from your artists and staff specifically if you are an organization with regional or national reach . Your customers walk their dogs, exercise, commute to work, and may want to listen to your content that can include keynote speeches, interviews, Q&As, panel discussions, and storytelling. Documenting the process of creating a play, a season brochure, a fundraising event, or a meeting with colleagues is fascinating to anyone who doesn’t work in the arts (and maybe even those who do).

My prediction:

Arts organizations often have the content to share, but may be too hung up on the editing and audio quality to dive in with a quick and dirty product. There is still a lot of fear with process documentation and giving away too much too early, so I can’t see many arts organizations adopting this type of approach in the near future.

Read part two of this topic and an interview with Erik Gensler from Capacity Interactive here.

Are you a podcast host or creator? Have you built an Alexa skill in the arts? Share your experience.

 

 

 

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