Heard any great businesses? Why your business needs Audio Long Reads

25th January 2021 / Sally Marshall / No Comments

Does your business have an audio strategy? Over 7 million people in the UK now listen to podcasts each week. That’s one in eight people and is an increase of 24% over the past year – and more than double over the past five years. Your business needs to be part of this audio revolution. 

Spoken word content has massively expanded over the last three years. There are over a million podcasts to choose from. Audiobooks are seeing a renaissance, as consumers look for efficient ways to consume content. If last year was the age of video, 2020 is the start of the business audio age. 

“We totally recommend that our clients always have an audio strategy because audio is ubiquitous,” said Jennifer Hungerbuhler, EVP Managing Director of Local Audio and Video Investment at Amplifi in the Pandora 2020 Definitive Guide to Audio Report. “Audio truly touches everything; it’s mobile, personal, social, interactive, engaging, emotional, live. But more importantly, as podcasts, speakers, smart devices and connected cars continue to grow, our clients need to understand how sound and voice can work for their brands.” 

As the podcast continues to expand, businesses are increasingly paying more attention to how audio can be used across their enterprises. Unlike other forms of content your company creates, podcasts are easily consumed. As over two-thirds of podcasts are listened to on mobile devices, it is easy for your audience to consume your podcast and act on its messages. Audio has become one of the most engaging content formats. According to the latest research from Stockapps 21% of Spotify users engage with podcasts.  

The demands that screen time places on consumers today can be overwhelming. To gain relief from these demands, consumers are turning to audio. Adobe found that 25% of consumers already report they have bought a product or service after hearing a digital audio ad. 

In the Pandora 2020 Definitive Guide to Audio, Josep Hernandez, Senior Director of Media and Total Connections Planning at PepsiCo commented: “I’m so hot on audio. We are doubling down on audio. We need to seize on the huge shifts in audience behaviours; we can no longer multiply attention on multiple screens.”  

Audio Long Reads 

Audio, though, is not just podcasting or audiobooks. There is a new audio format that is taking shape: Audio Long Reads.  

The development of mobile digital devices, the connected home and in-car audio have converged to deliver listening platforms a range of audio content can exploit. Businesses that want to stay relevant, connect with their customers and, remain leaders in their market sectors, must embrace audio content. 

Audio content is already appearing: The New Yorker regularly converts its features into audio versions. The global blogging platform Medium, enables its contributors to record narrated versions of their posts. And spoken word reports and audio whitepapers are also now appearing. 

Audio Long Reads transform the new written content your business is producing into highly engaging audio your customers and commercial partners can consume with ease.  

Listening instead of reading has become commonplace thanks to podcasting, but what if your business’s reports, blogs, whitepapers and case studies could all have an audio version? And don’t forget the vast archives of content your business contains. This content can have a whole new lease of life converting this material to Audio Long Reads. 

  • Can an audio version of any written content be produced? 

Yes, any of your business’s written content can be converted to audio format. The audio content you can create can also be enhanced with music and sound effects. It’s essential to understand how the written word can be converted to the spoken word and how the different formats need to be handled. 

  • If our reports, whitepapers or blog posts contain graphics, how does the Audio Long Read manage these elements? 

Any kind of graphical content can be linked to from the audio version you create for your business. This content can be hosted on your website. A simple audio cue can be used, so listeners know when you are talking about some graphical content. 

  • Which voice will be used to create our audio content? 

This is one of the most powerful elements of Audio Long Reads. You can choose from a range of professional voice artists to read your content. Matching a voice to your business creates an audio brand your enterprise can use across all its communications channels. 

  • Can we place ads in the audio content we create? 

Placing ads within your audio content isn’t complicated. You may have already heard ads or sponsors spots in the podcasts you listen to. It’s also possible to place ad breaks in your Audio Long Reads to showcase specific products or services you want your listeners to be aware of. 

  • Where can we use our new audio content? 

Everywhere! On your website, social media channels and even embedded into other reports, your new Audio Long Read content is versatile. When the audio file is completed, this can be hosted in several formats and on every major audio streaming service. 

The demands that screen time places on consumers today can be overwhelming. To gain relief from these demands, consumers are turning to audio. Adobe found that 25% of consumers already report they have bought a product or service after hearing a digital audio ad. 

You can listen to an Audio Long Read from Raconteur.  

The original report Why CEOs Must Rest Their Thinking is here

The Audio Long Read of this report is here

Your audio identity 

Why is sound so important for branding? Today we are bombarded with images daily. A conservative estimate is that we see over 5,000 ads each day. Often, these are silent. Adding audio can have a transformative impact on the audience. Brands like Intel and Nokia have familiar audio components to their branding. Recently MasterCard created a new sonic component to their brand. 

“Sound adds a powerful new dimension to our brand identity and a critical component to how people recognize Mastercard today and in the future,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer, Mastercard.  

How does your business build a sonic identity? There is a well-understood visual language where text and colour can be used to evoke specific moods and drive us to take action such as clicking a link to view more information about a product or service. Audio can massively enhance these messages. 

The huge expansion of podcasting and the enormous uptake of smart speakers using voice control, audio has been moving through a renaissance. Audio Long Reads are the next major evolution of business communications. 

At Listen to Business, we have the twin skills of journalism and audio production to enable us to offer Audio Long Reads of your business’s content.  

The next content revolution is audio. We can help your enterprise ensure its audio strategy reaches your key audiences. 

Dave Howell & Mark Kendrick  


Tel: +44 (0)7990 925 823 

dave@listentobusiness.co.uk or mark@ventoux.digital 

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