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Making Audio-On-Demand Accessible, Democratic and Commercially viable

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - PODAPP (Making Audio-On-Demand Accessible, Democratic and Commercially viable)

Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2019-06-30

Acast takes into consideration three main stakeholders, namely Podcasters (i.e. content creators), Advertisers and Listeners. These groups all have different issues being addressed by the PODAPP Project; Podcasters are not getting paid enough for the content they are producing, Advertisers are lacking reliable statistics in order to measure ROI on campaigns, and Listeners have a hard time finding new and more content to listen to.

In the process of democratising podcasting as a media, Acast aims to let anyone publish and monetise their own podcast. In order for these shows, and podcasts in general, to grow, Acast aims to improve discoverability via smart recommendation engine and indexing. By helping this growth and by collecting valuable and trustworthy statistics, advertisers will see the value of reaching out to the listeners and thus contributing to the podcasting value chain.

Throughout the project, Acast has developed several products aimed to all the above-named stakeholders, automated internal processes and helped grown podcasting as a media. Through more advanced tools, Podcasters can easily distribute their content whilst getting paid for their work, Advertisers can find high quality inventory to advertise in and get reliable statistics back, and Listeners can more easily discovery new content to consume. Since start of the project, podcasting has grown dramatically throughout the world.
Throughout the project, Acast has automated several internal processes, monetisation and revenue streams. This has been done by implementing a new ERP system, switching ad servers, developing a Calculation Module and integrating with a global mass payout system. Much of what was previously handled manually is now automated and thus better prepared for scaling Acast’s business.

Through automating internal processes and releasing an updated version of the content management system ‘Create’ and statistics sytem ‘Insights’, Acast has increased the efficiency and simplicity in on-boarding new content creators (podcasters), considerably lowering the threshold of technical skill required to launch a show.

Moreover, Acast has built a machine learning recommendation engine for individually suggested shows and episodes, which is continuously upgraded to deliver improved recommendations to the listeners.

Since start of the PODAPP project, Acast has launched an office in Australia, Norway, France and Germany, with the aim of becoming global market leaders within the podcasting industry. Further preparation work, through quantitative and qualitative analysis, has been completed for taking next steps for expansion and democratising podcasting as a media.
In building the infrastructure for the future of radio, Acast has grown from hosting 1,000 podcast and 50 million monthly listens by application date, to now hosting and monetising over 7,000 podcasts, both from independent podcasters and media houses, with 150 million listens per month from close to 200 countries.

By end of the PODAPP Project, the whole process of publishing podcasts was improved and nearly automated, and the advertising process is the only comprehensive, fully automated, scalable, easy to-use customer experience on the market. Further, Acast’s platform greatly simplifies discovering, subscribing to, and listening to all podcasts.