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Podcasting’s Bright Future, Apple’s Transcript Transparency, & More

Podcasting’s Bright Future, Apple’s Transcript Transparency, & More

March 14, 2024

Podcasting’s Bright Future: Insights from SXSW 2024

Odile Beniflah, Head of U.S. at Ausha, shares her experiences with podcasting at SXSW, including the Sound Summit official day of podcasting held on March 9th. Key takeaways from the four panels include Jonathan B. Allen’s take that getting a podcast on a chart is valuable currency for attracting brands. Ray Chao of Vox Media focused on the challenge of podcast discovery and the expansion of ad infrastructure is more critical than ever. [Source]

Humanizing Word Error Rate for ASR Transcript Readability and Accessibility

A new post to Apple’s Machine Learning Research details how the company has introduced a new metric for improving accuracy and readability in automatically-generated podcast transcripts. The metric, dubbed Human Evaluation Word Error Rate (or HEWER), goes beyond what the existing Word Error Rate algorithms account for. Instead of treating all errors equally, HEWER differentiates between major errors that impact readability, and minor ones that don’t. Apple’s research finds HEWER provides a more nuanced and accurate balance of literal transcription to readability, which moves towards the overall goal of benefitting transcript users. While a dense paper packed with info, it’s a worthwhile read and an appreciated bit of transparency from Apple on how their transcription service works. [Source]

Growing up: digital audio headlines 2024’s marketing mix by Tanya Davis

Shifting to the global view of podcast growth: PwC’s Media Outlook report predicts the South African local podcast market will reach 19 million monthly listeners by 2025, including an ad spend forecast of R302 million ($16.11 million USD). Writer Tanya Davis highlights how Gen Z will be an important demographic as the digital audio market grows in the region. As competition ramps up in the South African podcast scene, solutions like branded podcasts, creator collaborations, and implementation of targeting ad tech will become more popular in the sector. [Source]

The Podcast Value Equation (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the ad sales) by Steve Raizes

Paramount’s Steve Raizes writes about his Sound Summit appearance last Saturday and what data shared from the upcoming Sounds Profitable research study The Ad Bargain means for brands. Combined with data from Paramount Global, Raizes’ key takeaways from Saturday are that podcasting represents an opportunity for brands to increase their ability to reach consumers, especially if the company has omni-channel platform support. And for brands not tied into larger media ecosystems, podcasting offers some of the best top and bottom-funnel metrics around. On the note of data, The Ad Bargain will be debuted in a free live webinar on April 3rd at 2:00 p.m. CST. [Source]

…as for the rest of the news: