Where audio content originates and how it is listened to are rapidly shifting. Earlier this year, The New York Times began “The Daily,” a 20-minute morning show which has been ripping up the podcast charts. It was followed shortly by NPR’s morning podcast entry “Up First,” designed to reach NPR listeners who prefer accessing content on-demand.
The latest morning show is a four-minute daily roundup from “Buzzfeed. “Reporting To You,” takes things a step further with Amazon’s Alexa in mind. Instead of push notifications, newsletters or even podcasts, the BuzzFeed audience can now just ask for the morning’s top news on their smart speaker from a trusted source with a fresh take.
“We wanted to make something that stood out, sounded different and most importantly – sounded human," said Eleanor Kagan who is director of audio for BuzzFeed News.
While available on Amazon’s Echo, it is also published in podcast form.
BuzzFeed’s announcement closely coincides with a new twice-daily Snapchat news show in partnership with NBC News. It is a two to three minute highly produced morning and evening news program published at 7am and 4pm.
Nick Ascheim, head of digital at NBC News said; "We’re certainly walking before we’re running, but we’re actually sort of jogging before we’re running.” The show, "Stay Tuned" is a compendium of four or five of the top stories of the day and has a crew of 30 creating the daily program.
Snapchat reaches nine times more 18-34 year-olds in the U.S. than the top 15 TV networks. NBC already has a successful Snapchat show about The Voice. E! has a program called “The Rundown” which draws about 7 million viewers.
BuzzFeed, of course, is a millennial monster.
It is not difficult to see where this is going and the implications for broadcast radio.
Morning shows used to be the exclusive domain of radio, but platforms now enable "new competitors" who don't own a broadcast transmitter, to reach a mass audience.
These are big content creators pushing beyond their silos and developing programming on multiple platforms to extend their brand and reach.
Audio is having a moment as an exciting platform for big companies to create new content and interesting morning alternatives.