The Economist Weekly Podcasts

Knowledge and information for a time-poor audience.

The Economist’s readers are busy people.  Many are business or political leaders who value The Economist’s content but don’t have the time to read it all.

So for subscribers there is the audio edition.  A handy way of consuming The Economist that fits with their lifestyles and means that the content they value is available to them in a way that makes it easy to engage … on the train, in the car or, in the case of one listener, during regular swimming sessions.

(We don’t know if he listens while swimming but we are reliably informed that Barack Obama is one of those who regularly uses the App).

Every Thursday at Somethin’ Else the full magazine is recorded, edited and delivered to download within 12 hours, so it’s ready when The Economist hits newsstands and iPads on Thursday night / Friday morning.

We also edit and deliver the content in a bite-sized format of the magazine. Every week the Editor’s Highlights Podcast is available on iTunes, providing a premium package of audio content for time-poor readers who don’t subscribe.

"Angela Merkel listens to The Economist's audio app in the car"

John Micklethwait – editor-in-chief The Economist

A valuable subscriber retention tool

“What the Economist really sells is the ability to keep up by acting as a filter that says ‘this is what’s really important’. And if you just read the Economist then you’ll be informed. That’s ultimately the product we are selling.”

And the main reason people cancel their subscription to the Economist is that they do not have time to read it and the magazines pile up, Standage added. “Audio is a very, very good way for people to read our content without having to read it.”

He added that its is “a very valuable retention tool” as it encourages people to consume the content in different ways. “It’s easier to read an iPad when you are sitting down on a plane, but it’s more convenient to read a iPhone when you are squeezed into a tube train.

“The idea is just to leave it up to the reader to decide what the most convenient form of consuming the content is, and in many situations that will be audio.”

Listening in at the Economist: How audio editions and podcasts are created Sarah Marshall interviewing Tom Standage (Digital Editor, The Economist) for, 2012

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