Waiting for listeners, or pushing podcasts to listeners? they may have found the answer

Editor’s note :

Today, with the development of foreign podcasts in full swing and the steady growth of domestic podcasts, the commercialization of podcasts has become more and more important. Not only more and more companies and brands hope to carry out brand marketing through the emerging medium of podcast, but as a medium itself, podcast also encounters the problem of how to carry out brand marketing for itself. In order to reach more listeners, most podcasts adopt the idea of ​​”pulling” listeners, that is, targeting listeners who already have listening experience, catering to their tastes, constantly optimizing program content, and using exciting content to pull listeners into the program; The Living Room” podcast gave an amazing new answer: in a high-end shopping center in Tianjin, a first-tier city, create a long-running podcast cultural exhibition hall, and actively integrate high-quality podcasts with offline exhibitions and online podcasts. Push it to listeners, especially new listeners who have never been exposed to podcasts.


The combination of offline and online, a wonderful combination of business + culture + life

MixC is a well-known high-end shopping mall brand in China. It has 11 heavy luxury shopping malls in operation in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, first-tier cities and core second-tier cities. Tianjin Vientiane City is located in Hexi District, the central city of Tianjin, adjacent to Tianjin Cultural Center, with a construction area of ​​360,000 square meters. It has more than 30 top international brands and more than 300 well-known domestic and foreign brands.

Customers and visitors who enter Tianjin MixC will be attracted by a young and jumping huge promotional poster: Let’s boil, podcast! Following the guidance of the poster, you can reach the “Boiling Living Room” podcast-themed cultural exhibition hall on the second floor of the shopping center. In this cultural and artistic exhibition hall, customers and visitors can listen to the magical transparent “mushroom” speaker above their heads as long as they stand at the designated position on the ground, and enjoy the program clips carefully produced by the anchor on the spot.

1 Huge advertisements for the podcast exhibition were displayed in multiple locations in Tianjin MixC

This is the first podcast-themed cultural exhibition hall in China to be established and operated for a long time in a large shopping mall. It adopts a combined promotion method of offline exhibitions and online podcasts to expose its podcast of the same name “Boiling Living Room” and recommend more Wonderful podcasts, bringing more new listeners to the Chinese podcast industry .

This “alternative” combination of offline and online, business + culture + life is presenting the ecology that young people love today . You can even read the relevant content of this podcast exhibition in Xiaohongshu. In the future, the “Boiling Living Room” podcast exhibition will continue to be exhibited with a frequency of one theme per month.

How commercial real estate can use podcasting to brand

If we take 2020 as the “first year of podcasting” as the time node, in just two years, podcasting has penetrated into all walks of life. The real estate industry is no exception, and related companies and teams have created multiple podcast programs.

For example, brand podcasts in vertical fields such as urban planning and local life: the podcast “Beyond City Ambition” by a volunteer team focusing on sustainable cities and transportation “Beyond City Ambition”; jointly organized by Vanke Public Welfare Foundation and Heyi Green Academy The sustainable community-themed podcast “Star Lighting Podcast” launched; “LandingOnAir” co-produced by Anaya and Late Night Tantan Podcast Network; “Linxiang FM” podcast of the curatorial organization Linxiang Culture, etc.

Another example is the subdivision of the real estate industry. In addition to personal podcasts produced by practitioners, there are also podcasts hosted by real estate projects. For example: the podcast “Huaihai 333” produced by Late Night Talking Podcast Network and Xintiandi creative platform CREATORS 100; “Commercial History”; Ningbo Vanke Huai STAGE’s pan-city themed podcast “Ai Li Ai Wai”, and Hangzhou Vanke’s “V-can Universal Radio” and so on.

1 City and real estate podcast logo display

No matter which brand or podcast it is, it is hoped that the combination of online and offline will produce the effect of 1+1>2. But it is not difficult to see that most of the podcasts created by companies and teams that can be seen are mostly based on using podcasts to gather listeners online, and then promote offline activities to attract traffic and exposure. However, the lack of fans of new podcasts and the difficulty in obtaining listeners are problems that all creators cannot avoid . This inevitably leads to a chicken-and-egg deadlock.

Zhu Feng, the founder of the domestic professional podcast service company Shengpai and the podcast network “Jinledao”, was deeply touched by this:

“Starting from scratch, a new podcast grows very slowly. If you only focus on content creation and cannot use your own advantages to bring the first batch of listeners to the podcast, it will be difficult for the podcast to achieve a cold start .”

Sheng Pai and “Jin Le Dao” are the co-producers and producers of the Boiling Living Room project. In order to break this deadlock, Zhu Feng broke the fixed thinking that podcasts guide offline activities in the early stage of the Boiling Living Room project planning, and proposed the offline The offline entity guides the flow of podcasts, and the podcast feeds back the idea of ​​​​offline entities .

1 Poster of the first phase of “Boiling Living Room”

Specifically, in Tianjin MixC, a high-quality shopping center, the long-term and continuous operation of offline podcast cultural exhibitions, in the form of offline scanning QR codes to listen to programs, attracts from the huge daily passenger flow of Tianjin MixC. Podcast listeners . At the same time, every time the theme of the exhibition is changed and the participating podcasts are selected, a mixed-cut program of recommended podcasts will be recorded in the “Boiling Living Room” podcast at the same time, so as to attract online listeners to visit offline.

In order to allow this form to continue to provide freshness, “Boiling Living Room” plans different podcast cultural themes on a monthly basis. Each theme will display 5 podcasts of the same type, each of which can be scanned to subscribe or listen. Zhu Feng introduced, “Using offline hotspots to help podcasts break the circle, and at the same time help shopping malls carry out brand marketing. This kind of thinking seems to just change the direction of push and pull, but in fact it uses the advantages of both shopping malls and podcasts. Advantages, turning one-way traffic into continuous positive feedback , truly creating a brand marketing effect of 1+1>2.”

1 The podcast exhibition site is located on the second floor of Tianjin Vientiane City

“The conversion path is still too long now,” said Xing Xingxing (Yuan Jinxing), the curator of the podcast cultural exhibition of “Boiling Living Room” and the host of the podcast of the same name. To listen, you have to jump to the Cosmos App, and you can only subscribe to this podcast after completing a series of operations such as registration and verification. This is completely different from the logic of “going shopping”. I may not remember what it was called.”

But this does not deny the contribution of the participating podcasters to the entire podcast market: Although the first issue of “Boiling Living Room” was in the worst period of the epidemic in Tianjin, there were still hundreds of times of scanning and listening (excluding direct search and other channels) ). If you are a user of the Cosmos app, if you look through the podcasts that have participated in the exhibition, you will also find that in the comment area of ​​a certain episode, listeners who became fans because of the podcast development, most of them are new listeners who have entered the podcast.

What’s more interesting is that the podcasts participating in the podcast exhibition include “Coming Star Chat”, “Limited Culture”, and “Great Traveler”, which accounted for three-fifths of Apple’s podcasts “2022 Editor’s Picks” list, And programs such as “Daily Talk Park”, “Black Cat Detective Agency”, and “Relish” were also selected into the sub-lists.

The podcast exhibition looks like a “three-dimensional magazine”, with photos and podcast texts as the main display. When you walk into the space and stand under the transparent speaker suspended from the roof, it can sense you and play a 4-minute selected content .

“Put the podcast in the space to recommend and share with everyone. If you are interested, you can subscribe. Although it is now version 1.0, its content is more priority”, Xing Xing said, there are still many ideas that have not been realized, such as in the new one. In the first exhibition, illustrations will be used to show what podcasting is, what kind of scenes you can listen to, what you can gain, and the true feelings of the audience. In the future, “Boiling Living Room” will continue to innovate, and maximize the experience of discovering podcasts, listening to podcasts, and experiencing podcast culture.

Nowadays, more and more shopping malls are transforming into complex formats, and it is an indisputable fact that they have developed from a single shopping space to a comprehensive living space. The combination of art and lifestyle with shopping experience is often the mall’s favorite . Therefore, most shopping malls will use some space to do exhibitions or introduce art shops.

Taking the opportunity of brand promotion, Tianjin Vientiane City set up the first exhibition of “Boiling Living Room”. Now the “Boiling Living Room” podcast has only been online for half a year, and it has appeared on the homepage of Apple Podcasts many times and has been officially recommended. Moreover, among the few episodes, two episodes have already exceeded 100,000 broadcasts on the whole network.

In the process of program accumulation, there are still many surprises and gains. The vice president of Tianjin Architecture and Planning Institute, who has already been a guest, also expressed that he hopes to participate in more podcast recordings, and hopes to use the platform of “Boiling Living Room” to discuss urban renewal. topic of. Including Tianjin Grand Theatre, Happy Twist, etc., they all took the initiative to contact them. On the one hand, they hope to record podcasts across channels, and on the other hand, they also hope to have more forms of cooperation.

Promoting podcast commercialization through business partnerships

Pushing podcasts to listeners means pushing podcasts to customers.

As early as 2020, the “Relish” podcast network and the Tianjin real estate project Wisdom Mountain jointly hosted “Na Shangao Market NO.15 Craft Brewing Summer 2.0″. In addition to the experience of traditional cultural and creative markets, ” The form of “stall” brings the experience of podcasting to young and active people.

The curator of “Boiling Living Room” and anchor star Xing Xing also got to know Zhu Feng because of this. At that time, she was the curator of the “Open City” local cultural exploration exhibition. With such an opportunity, Zhu Feng was invited to participate in the upcoming “Opening the City” local cultural exploration exhibition.

Zhu Feng and the “Relish” team displayed the podcast culture while helping the sponsor “RØDE” to display the podcast equipment. Exhibit themed podcast episode.

There was an endless stream of tourists coming and going. They were gradually attracted by this wonderful experience and stopped to watch. Unknowingly, they fell in love with the real and beautiful companionship of the podcast.

“Although it was only a short-term exhibition, it felt good,” said Zhu Feng. “The recorded program was also recommended on the homepage of Apple Podcasts.”

Based on this short-term cooperation by chance, Xingxing was not only drawn into the podcast pit, but also impressed by the effect of the podcast and activities. It is precisely because of this seemingly inadvertent seed that today’s podcast culture exhibition in Tianjin’s Vientiane City is eye-catching.

1 In 2020, the “Relish” podcast network “set up a stall” in Wisdom Mountain, Tianjin

The creative market in 2020 gave birth to the “Boiling Living Room” project, and the “Boiling Living Room” project brought more business cooperation between Zhu Feng and “Tin Le Tao” .

Xiao Hei, Yi Jie and Ah Fu participated in the recording and planning of the “Boiling Living Room” program together with Xing Xing. The three of them are also the initiators and anchors of another podcast “Original Soup Talking Original Food” under the “Relish” podcast network. Due to the exploration of “Boiling Living Room”, a staff member who works at Tianjin Isetan and is in charge of brand promotion also quickly reached a cooperation with them, and customized a program for Isetan “Every rain comes, this department store will Playing Music” vividly conveyed Isetan’s unique culture and considerate shopping experience to the audience.

1 The podcast “Original Soup Talking Original Food” is a program customized for Tianjin Isetan

“She didn’t know what a podcast was before,” Xiao Hei recalled. When they met for the first time, several anchors told the Tianjin Isetan employee how to listen to podcasts. But an unexpected situation happened. After returning home, she began to listen to the podcast silently. “It was beyond our expectations. I didn’t expect her to recognize us so much. She would always say ‘I listened to it twice’ when she listened to “Original Soup”. “Sister Yi was also pleasantly surprised.

So this customized program cooperation was quickly reached. After the program was released, all employees of Tianjin Isetan forwarded it in Moments, and many of them downloaded the podcast client for the first time and began to listen to the podcast. What’s more interesting is that Japanese employees who can’t understand Chinese also spread the word on their social media .

Through previous contact, Sister Yi heard from a relevant person in charge of the Japanese side that many people in Japan listen to podcasts, and he himself is no stranger to podcasts. In fact, the situation in Japan is similar to that in the United States, and the listening habit has always existed. With Apple, Google, Amazon and other companies launching podcast apps one after another, listening to podcasts has become a common form of content consumption in Japan.

“Cooperating with companies with overseas backgrounds is smoother.” Zhu Feng believes that podcasters should consider cooperating with companies with overseas backgrounds if they have the conditions at the current stage, and they are very recognized for podcasts. “After all, there are already more mature overseas markets, and the business model has been verified.”

In the era of diversified podcasts, podcasts contain more business opportunities

If you look back at the history of podcasting in China, then 2020 must be the most special and important year. A number of professional podcasting organizations were established, and the small universe was born to solve the problem of listening to podcasts on domestic Android phones. Coupled with the home environment of the epidemic and the dual effects of internal and external factors, the podcast industry has experienced a second wave. A commonplace ListenNotes data can prove the popularity of this wave: the total number of Chinese podcasts exceeded 10,000 at the end of April 2020, and on December 31, 2020, the number of Chinese podcasts was 16,448.

Looking back today, two years later, with the development of podcasts, especially the increasing number of podcast business cooperation, the marketing business of the top podcasts is overwhelming, and the mid-waist podcasts are gradually gaining advertising revenue…

It is worth noting that most of the customers who have successfully cooperated with podcasts and are satisfied with the results are converted listeners, or listen to podcasts when they have cooperation intentions. The 2022 Podcast Buying Guide (Podcast Buying Guide V5.0 FINAL) released by AdLarge also gives clear advice: If a brand wants to place podcast ads, they should first listen to podcasts and find a program that suits them .

Actively promote podcasts to commercial customers through offline commercial activities, which helped Zhu Feng and his podcasting colleagues remove an important obstacle in the commercialization of podcasts: if the brand side has not really felt the charm of podcasts, it is difficult to pass the paper. Data to judge the marketing effectiveness of podcasts.

We hope that as a professional podcast service company, Shengpai will conduct commercial activities with more offline entity companies, help the entire podcast industry, and actively promote more podcasts to audiences and potential audiences .” Zhu Feng believes that this is a long-term sustainable development method of podcasting. “In the case of the overall slow growth of the podcasting market, new listeners can come offline, which not only solves the problem of audience growth, but also creates business opportunities along the way.”

1 Listener interaction at the “Boiling Living Room” podcast show

Let’s talk about podcasting again today, the nature has changed. The market’s cautious attitude towards podcasting in the past has transformed into multi-faceted and diversified attempts today.

In terms of services, the professional podcast service company Shengpai has launched podcast post-production services in addition to program hosting and data analysis, and the open podcast recording space “Shengpaixuan” has also entered the trial operation stage.

In terms of media, the New Weekly Hard Core Reading Club selected the “Top Ten Book Promoters of the Year”, including three podcasts, “Limited Culture”, “Random Fluctuation” and “Island Jumping FM”. In Zhizu GQ’s 2022 Person of the Year Selection, Boss Shi was named “Podcaster of the Year”. JustPod released the industry report “New Observations on Chinese Podcasts in 2022” again after two years. At the end of last year, the winners of the CPA China Podcast Awards were released, and the “2023 Podcast Marketing White Paper” was also released.

In terms of brand marketing, for example, the 106th National Sugar and Wine Fair held in Chengdu on Double 11 last year invited the “comic star chat meeting” to conduct two offline recording activities. Look at the joint project “Reunion with Beauty” launched by Ideal and Mercedes-Benz customer service, and invited 8 podcasts to relay. The wine brand Jollee has launched podcasts many times, and only used podcasts as a channel to promote product sales during Double 11…

These multi-dimensional and diversified attempts are showing the vitality and potential of the entire podcast industry, as well as more business opportunities contained in it.

Maybe five years later when we look back at today’s Chinese podcast market, every participant can proudly say: We have seized every opportunity for development, and every year we have created a new “first year of podcasting.”

1 The podcast recording space of “Sheng Pai Xuan” located in the historical and cultural district of Fayuan Temple in Beijing


The story of “Boiling Living Room” and Tianjin Vientiane City is far from over.

After successfully creating the podcast-themed cultural exhibition hall of “Boiling Living Room”, Tianjin Vientiane City plans to explore in-depth with Shengpai and jointly build a commercial new media laboratory, including multiple podcast recording studios, audio and video live broadcast rooms, etc. The two parties hope to expand the successful experience of the “Boiling Living Room” project and further combine the commercialization of podcast programs with the cultural experience of commercial real estate.

It is expected that more excellent podcasters will participate in the “Boiling Living Room” and the commercial new media laboratory, and use this opportunity to try to commercialize podcasts.

Whether it is drawing listeners into podcasts through program content, or using a successful offline showroom + online podcasting project such as “Boiling Living Room”, they are all pushing podcasts to a wider audience and potential listeners. “Boiling Living Room” not only gave an unexpected and successful answer to the commercialization of podcasts, but also created a series of new possibilities for the diversified development of the entire Chinese podcast industry .


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