Preview – Are You Listening?

Posted on: Wednesday 15 June 2022 4:31pm by Carla Herbertson

Carla Herbertson is passionate about audio – here she tells you why you should be too…

I am so pleased to put audio on the map at this year’s CMC, but you may ask why audio matters?

First, I can dazzle you with stats:

  • Audio downloads across all genres are up 14% to £151 million. (Publisher Association)
  • There’s been a 20 percent increase in listenership for podcasts in the kids and family category since 2019. (NPR and Edison Research’s 2021 Spoken Word Audio Report)
  • US Children’s and Young Adult audiobook sales have increased, with 61% of parents saying their children listen to audiobooks. This is up from 35% in 2020. (Audio Publishers Association)

Lots of different platforms are now capitalising on this trend, including children’s audiobook platform Yoto. We will be joined by Content Director Jessica Tarrant who heads up a global team responsible for creating the audio that goes onto Yoto’s NFC-enabled audio cards. Jessica curates a library that features classic authors, contemporary music, big-brand licenses and innovative new educational experiences. She will give her insights on the audio market as well as share what Yoto are looking for content wise.

Another reason why audio matters is creative: there is such flexibility and freedom in producing an audio experience in terms of stories, characters, formats, narrative structures. You can really push the envelope when it comes to what spoken word audio can mean.  Turnip + Duck, an Irish award-winning writer-led studio, used the ‘audio first’ approach to create ‘Maddie + Triggs’, a podcast about 7 year old Maddie and her dog Triggs who both love music and adventure. Co-founder Aidan O’Donovan is now looking for further investment to develop it as a tv series. Find out why, for them, audio first was their preferred route.

But what if you have the visual product already? Can you use the assets to create an audio product which extends your brand beyond screens? eOne/Hasbro did just that with their ‘Peppa Pig audio stories’, a reversion of the television series, which they distributed to music streaming services like Spotify. Esra Cafer, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Strategy & Management, will tell us more about Peppa’s move to Spotify.

Audio truly matters to Dutch entrepreneur Sanne Kanis, who founded Abel, a fast-growing international production company that produces original audio content for children. Abel provides, in their own words ‘character-driven, binge-worthy stories’ that are creative, diverse, and inclusive. Sanne learned how to scale companies at Google, Spotify and Podimo, where she held various global commercial positions. She will share why the children’s audio market is so appealing to her.

Whichever way you look at it, there are huge opportunities for brands to deepen engagement with their audience through audio and create intimate, immersive and imaginative experiences. This panel is ready to give you a tiny taste of some of these opportunities.

So, are your ears burning yet…?

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Carla Herbertson

About the author

Carla Herbertson

Co-Founder, Small Wardour, Founder & Director, Small Audio

Carla has been working in the children’s audio industry for over 20 years, of which 10 as BBC producer across many children’s programmes. As Head of International Audio Content for digital distributor Zebralution, she developed strategic partnerships with key players within publishing and digital media industries. She now runs children… Read more