Médias en Seine 2022: audio in the spotlight with ETX Studio & Majelan

Médias en Seine 2022: audio in the spotlight with ETX Studio & Majelan

The 5th edition of Médias en Seine was held on Tuesday, November 22, 2022. The event focused on the analysis of the multiple challenges in the media scene, based on 6 main themes, from engaged journalism to the protection of democracy, to the metaverse and new technological uses of press and media. 

For the occasion, ETX Studio and Majelan were present to talk about the rise of digital audio (podcasts and articles read by synthetic voices) in the media, along with experts in the field like Radio France, Prisa Radio, Ircam Amplify, Juice.tech and Sybel. Cécilia Gabizon, VP & Editorial Director at ETX Studio, moderated the two morning conferences dedicated to audio: “How radios and platforms are inventing audio 3.0” and “The future of Audio: what will your day look like in 2025?”

The consumption of audio and podcasts around the world has peaked in recent years. In Germany, 40% of adults listen to at least one podcast a month. Currently, the audio market has about 2 million active podcasts worldwide, 800 million YouTube channels and 2 billion blogs, according to Naomi Mellor, producer and host of various podcasts including Smashing The Ceiling and founder of the International Women’s Podcast Awards.

On the audiobook side, a similar growth is visible. According to Grand View Research, in 2021, the audiobook market was worth $4.2 billion and is estimated to reach $15 billion by 2027. This growth has attracted the attention of major companies such as Amazon, which was one of the first to take an interest in this format when buying Audible in 2008, and Spotify, which has increased its investments in the sector, notably by buying Findaway, one of the largest distributors of audio books in the world.

Cécilia Gabizon leading the conference “How radios and platforms invent audio 3.0?”

Virginie Maire, President of Sybel, invited at the conference “How radios and platforms are inventing audio 3.0?” spoke about the rise in consumption of audio formats (podcasts, music) on all platforms, but also on platforms not specifically dedicated to audio: “there are new platforms that allow audio content to be distributed to consumers. On YouTube, we also listen a lot even if it’s a video.”

On the radio side, Laurent Frisch, director of digital and production at Radio France, reminded the importance of live audio “radio is the possibility for the listener not to choose, to be surprised”. According to him, human recommendation takes precedence over algorithmic recommendation. Real content experts recommend the two million podcasts of Radio France, “with us, it is first of all the human who guides the listener, completed by the algorithm to refine the personalization.”

According to Ana Ormaechea, Chief Digital Officer at Prisa Radio, who was also present at the conference, there is no opposition between radio and podcast, each medium has its own listening moments, she added that live radio listening has increased by 30% at Prisa Radio. Ana explained that Prisa is working daily to improve its audio services. The company recently developed a synthetic voice specialized in soccer, for the FIFA 2022 World Cup. This voice, named “Victoria”, is used in Prisa’s radio broadcasts and was created in collaboration with internal teams, “Victoria was created in 6 months. This voice knows all the stats and news about soccer.”

For the second conference “The future of Audio: what will your day look like in 2025?”, Cécilia Gabizon was accompanied by Mathieu Gallet, Managing Director at Majelan & Chairman of ETX Studio, Nathalie Birocheau, CEO at Ircam Amplify, Rafi Haladjian CEO – Juice.tech and Jean-Yves Le Gall Head of Research and Advanced Engineering at Continental.

Nathalie Birocheau shared some isnights on the power of sound, voice and audio. According to her, “sound is a very special medium. It is immediate, the transmission time of the sound stimulus is 50 milliseconds, faster than that of he image. Sound is primitive, it brings people together, it makes them happy and it is universal.” Regarding voice, she said that “69% of French people use voice control, especially in mobility. 66% of users consider it effective”. She added that voice command and interaction with connected speakers remained basic in France and not conversational, and that it was mostly simple requests, to ask for the weather for example.

Nathalie Birocheau & Mathieu Gallet at the conference “The future of Audio: what will your day look like in 2025?”

At ETX Studio, we have long been interested in the power of audio as a transmitter of meaning and emotion. Whether it’s with Majelan, the podcast creation studio that we acquired, or with our audio transformation technology (manual or automated) that allows us to convert into audio with high-quality synthesized voices the sites and content of media, brands and institutions such as Le Figaro, La Tribune, Orange or the French Senate. Contact us to incorporate digital audio into your editorial strategy, to conquer these new audiences who prefer to consume content in audio format.

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