Basia Cummings is the Editor at Tortoise Media, the membership-led newsroom in the UK, which is increasingly becoming an audio production house.
What makes Tortoise different? Firstly, the team shows their workings. Members have access to the journalism “work in progress” journey. And they don’t explore themes, they create narratives, and stay focussed on slow-news. Plus they never follow the audience with true crimes or historical cases, they only make podcasts where there is a public purpose.
Her newsroom’s move towards audio has happened over time. They’ve had success with narrative podcasts in particular, with long-form stories and investigative journalism finding a perfect home in the audio space.
Matilde Meslin is a Journalist at Slate in France. Their podcasts and online pieces are free so they are working on various new revenue models to make bigger profits, including looking into audio. In particular, Matilde is working on the basis that the audience is time-poor so Slate is helping people find new podcasts, even if they are not necessarily made by Slate.
Max Franke is the MD at Axel Springer, which runs Politico and Welt, as well as various German radio stations and podcasts. By 2025 Max wants Axel Springer to be the number one audio brand in Germany, but he does not see himself as working in the radio industry. “If you define your industry as radio then you might be in trouble” he said, making the point that we all need to be agile and create content for all platforms.
The world is changing and big organisations like Tortoise, Slate and Axel Springer are moving with the market. Stay tuned for their next moves in the audio space…