Media: Double Standards - 'I want to podcast our daily leader brainstorm'

The joys of putting together a podcast in a pub, why MP3 players beat radio for intimacy and the importance of innovation.

GUY RUDDLE - PODCAST EDITOR, THE TELEGRAPH

- What are the commercial benefits of launching podcasting?

With the launch of podcasting, we are broadening the ways in which people can consume Telegraph journalism, giving every consumer plenty of access to enjoy the Telegraph brand and experience its quality. In doing that, we give existing consumers more reasons to stay with us and new consumers a fresh entry to our product.

- Do you carry advertising and why?

At the moment, we carry sponsorship. We think it is a more compatible source of revenue than advertising for a podcast because it is less intrusive.

- How does your podcasting revenue model work?

Very nicely, thank you.

- Is every media owner in town jumping on the podcasting bandwagon through fear that everyone else is doing so and will they be left behind?

They may be, and if that is their thinking then they are in for a rude awakening. Like any other product, it has to offer something new and different to survive. Podcasting for the sake of it is doomed to failure.

- Is there enough demand among users to sustain the growth of podcasting and what will enable it to become more popular?

It's all about quality. Produce the right quality product and people will want it. And the more podcasting grows, the more people will look for quality content from people they can trust.

- What will be the next biggest development to happen to podcasting?

Things are changing so fast that nobody knows for sure, but my favourite would be being able to download podcasts in the same way as music albums. So the podcast would be the album and the elements of it the tracks.

- What makes a successful podcast?

In terms of content, something you can't get anywhere else. We try to make sure everything we do could only be done by us. In terms of tone of voice, it's all about intimacy. Podcasting beats even radio. You're not just going into someone's home or car, you're going into their ear.

- What is your dream podcast subject?

A part of me has always wanted to podcast our daily leader conference. The thought of eavesdropping while our finest brains freely discuss the issues of the day could be fascinating and I can imagine it attracting a small, but very loyal audience.

- What's the best podcast you've heard and why?

Here's one I made earlier ... The Telegraph World Cup Pubcast. It brought together the cream of the Telegraph's football writers and the essence of football - arguing in the pub. We threw in a few specially invited guests to add some extra humour, and recorded it in The Red Lion every weekday during the World Cup.

- How did you come to work in podcasting?

On a scooter. Seriously, my background is as a broadcaster. I presented Wake up to Money on Radio 5 Live for five years and was a BBC radio and television reporter and presenter for another ten years before that. The Telegraph decided that if it was going to be serious about audio, it had better hire an expert. OK, so they chose me, but at least they tried.

- What are your interests outside of work?

Thinking of bizarre hobbies to put on the bottom of my CV. And taxidermy.

PETER BALE - ONLINE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, TIMES/SUNDAY TIMES

- What are the commercial benefits of launching podcasting?

It is a niche product which, if done well, will help advertisers reach a very select and technically savvy audience, as we have been able to do for Sony Ericsson with our Sounds podcasts and Dodge with David Baddiel and Frank Skinner.

- Do you carry advertising and why?

Yes, because it helps pay for the product and allows us to work with advertisers who back our innovations and who want to be associated with a quality product.

- How does your podcasting revenue model work?

We have been delighted to have companies such as Sony Ericsson and Dodge work with us in this area and join us with experimental material, which is true to our editorial values. It is vital that we're able to experiment.

- Is every media owner in town jumping on the podcasting bandwagon through fear that everyone else is doing so and will they be left behind?

I don't think this is a bandwagon for us. The key is to try to do it in a way that leverages brand strengths, not something which is just audio for the sake of it. The Sounds podcasts, for example, use a Times star in the form of Pete Paphides, but provides him with a new platform.

- Is there enough demand among users to sustain the growth of podcasting and what will enable it to become more popular?

We have to find the right recipes for each area. News, travel and sport are very different and need a different approach. Almost by definition, because it is a pull rather than a push medium, readers will decide what they like.

- What will be the next biggest development to happen to podcasting?

Technology will help it sound less like poor-quality radio done by media organisations pretending to be garage bands.

- What makes a successful podcast?

I think high-quality recording and something special that gives the audience more than just a story read out by a writer. But I don't think anyone has found the secret sauce for this just yet.

- What is your dream podcast subject?

AA Gill, Jane MacQuitty, Jeremy Clarkson or William Rees-Mogg.

- What's the best podcast you've heard and why?

I love the Paphides ones we do because they introduce me to new bands, give me his wit and give me music as well. Some of the US NPR podcasts are very effective.

- How did you come to work in podcasting?

We are developing this important avenue as part of our multimedia strategy, which encompasses Times Online TV, podcasting, live audio on the site and other aspects of this exciting area.

- What are your interests outside of work?

Trying to keep abreast of the same internet and publishing developments that keep me busy at work.

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