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3 podcast platforms that luxury should control

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Steve Shi is part of the first wave of Chinese broadcasters experimenting with the emerging content vehicle of podcasts. In addition to his “Steve Says” channel, which focuses on mental health, he is now the host of the brand’s “Herstory” podcast show, started by luxury brand Giada this year. Founded in 2015, Shi’s personal channel was named “Top Show in 2019” by Apple Podcast, attracting Gen Z and millennial subscribers.

Much has been made of the rapid growth of short video and live streaming in China. Among these new engaging content formats, podcasting is one of the most overlooked. In Nielsen Global Marketing Annual Report 2022, found that 59 percent of marketers in Asia-Pacific believe that new formats, such as podcasts, are very important to marketing strategies. Although this sentiment is lower than global (65 percent), in an age of information explosion, it is proving to be a valid way of capturing the public’s attention.

It’s time for podcasting in China to come of age. According to eMarketer projection, local listeners will reach 102.4 million this year, putting the country second behind the US; the growth rate is expected to remain in double digits until at least 2025.

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Although the Nielsen report found that many marketers are not very confident in tracking the return on investment of podcasts, there are early adopters who are betting on the high brand recall rate that the format can generate. And there are great benefits to be gained from exploring the sector, such as building broader community bases.

While global luxury houses like Gucci and Giada, as well as local brands Neiwai, Maia Active and Pop Mart, are diving in with their own shows, launching digital initiatives on local podcast platforms can help luxury prove the opportunity. Here, jing daily presents three leading platforms in the continent that luxury must know.

Ximalaya

Background: Launched in 2013, Shanghai-based Ximalaya is the country’s largest audio streaming platform. It has a wide offering of content including audiobooks, music, comedy skits, and of course podcasts. In order to build a business structure that leverages knowledge sharing, the platform created a professional user-generated content model by inviting KOLs from various industries, including arts and culture, sports, finance, and business. , for them to contribute. Ximalaya recently invited a large number of celebrities, media outlets, and brands to open their official channels.

Who is using it: In celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day, L’Oréal Paris joined forces with the platform to launch a dedicated program in March. The “I Say I’m Worth It” campaign featured one-on-one conversations between five celebrities and five popular podcast hosts on youth culture, women’s speech, lifestyle, personal growth and entertainment.

L’Oréal Paris collaborated with XImalaya will launch podcasts with Chinese celebrities, including table tennis champion Ma Long. Photo: Ximalaya Weibo

vitopia

Background: Since 2015, Beijing-based Vistopia has been producing culture-focused digital programs. art, culture, history, literature, and sociology are all topics covered. Under the slogan “see another possibility”, the application has invited academic professionals to launch audio programs to build a virtual cultural center for national audiences. One of his most influential podcast shows is Eight Point hosted by cultural celebrity Leung Man-tao.

Who is using it: To mark its centenary, Gucci collaborated with the digital publisher to launch a three-episode podcast called A Party for Music. For the project, Vistopia invited musicians to share their careers and talk about the music anthology.

Vistopia’s Gucci Centennial Podcasts featured musical artists Xiao Jun and Ricky. Photo: Vistopia Weibo

xiaoyuzhou

Background: Launched by Shanghai startup Jike in 2020, Xiaoyuzhou is an app with rapidly growing listeners: more than 2 million in a year and a half. Unlike other platforms that include various audio content such as music and audiobooks, Xiaoyuzhou is a podcast-only app that features user-friendly features and customization algorithms. High user adherence to their live channels has enticed brands to partner with them, which bodes well for further consolidation.

Who is using it: In March 2021, local lifestyle company Neiwai collaborated with leading channel Stochastic Volatility to launch a series of branded podcasts in Xiaoyuzhou. The dedicated initiative included three episodes featuring women who are leading figures in their respective industries. The associations generated extensive online discussions on related topics (from gender equality to entrepreneurship), echoing Neiwai’s women’s empowerment DNA.

Neiwai launched podcast episodes in Xiaoyuzhou that touched on topics such as how to create branded content from a women’s perspective. Photo: Neiwai

Italian luxury house Giada has also teamed up with a media outlet tattler to launch a program called “Herstory” on the platform. The ongoing series takes the form of dialogues with leading women who share their personal experiences of life and work.

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