The Guardian is looking to get in on the apparent appetite for daily news podcasts with a political bent.
The English newspaper is launching its first daily podcast focused on daily news and current affairs with Anushka Asthana, political editor since 2015 who has television broadcasting experience, as its host. The project is set to be live by the end of the year and seems modeled after the successful New York Times podcast “The Daily,” which had surpassed 200 million downloads within a year of its February 2017 launch. The Times has said the podcast reaches around 4.5 million unique listeners a month.
While “The Daily” is seemingly the most popular daily news podcast, there are more than 100 to choose from, but the Guardian is known for having more of a progressive tenor to its coverage, and its yet-to-be-named podcast will be hosted from London, likely giving it more of an international flair.
“I am confident that The Guardian’s daily news podcast will become essential listening in our readers’ busy lives,” said Katharine Viner, Guardian editor in chief. “I can’t wait to hear Anushka everyday — her broadcast experience and accessible style makes her the perfect host.”
The Guardian has brought on a team of six to produce the show, which will run every weekday. Several of the new hires hail from the BBC as well as The New Yorker Radio Hour. But the paper has a decade of experience in the podcast space and a number of weekly franchises, the most successful being Football Weekly, focused on European football. It was downloaded more than 3 million times during this year’s World Cup.
Christian Bennett, The Guardian’s executive editor of multimedia, said the paper actually coined the term “podcasting” — it checks out as writer and futurist Ben Hammersley coined the turn in a 2004 column — and noted the experienced team coming on to produce the show ensures “our new podcast will be a fresh listen with high production values.”
But the show will also bring in revenue, as The Guardian continues its push into being digital-first. The new show will launch with Acast as its audio partner and its first advertiser will be Bose. David Pemsel, chief executive officer of Guardian Media Group, pointed out that more than half of the paper’s revenue now comes from digital, a milestone for the company only reached this summer.
Pemsel said the new podcast is part of The Guardian’s “significant investment in audio journalism” and “an important part of our strategy to develop deeper relationships with our audience and grow new revenue streams.”
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