SCA’s Grant Blackley on ambition of LiSTNR app and PodcastOne rebrand

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“Advertisers and agencies will give this serious attention and migrate to LiSTNR”

As of February 18, all the podcasts that lived on PodcastOne will now be found on the LiSTNR platform. Parent company SCA has rebranded its on-demand audio platform, incorporating the PodcastOne business into LiSTNR which is also the name of a new app that delivers the podcasts, but all of SCA’s 100 live radio stations and a growing list of dedicated music streams.

See also: SCA launches major new audio destination LiSTNR

Although SCA is expected to save some money on PodcastOne licensing fees, SCA chief executive Grant Blackley told Mediaweek the company will continue to offer PodcastOne US content to listeners and sales opportunities to the market.

The ambition SCA has with LiSTNR is huge. “We are creating an audio destination for all Australian’s,” explained Blackley. “The app has radio, podcasts, music, and news and information as four content pillars.”

SCA is culling its list of podcasts in Australia, with Blackley mentioning a slimmer catalogue of Australian premium titles plus a number of international series.

As part of the music offering on LiSTNR, SCA has launched 15 new music channels and created four new music shows, with more to come.

“What we have for the audience is a personalised, curated audio eco-system. This is much more than just radio and just podcasting. It has been built to serve the needs of every person in Australia.”

The company’s app strategy means you won’t find any other radio stations on LiSTNR. “All the content is either SCA born and bred, or content we have in partnership or under licence to SCA.”

The broadcast boss indicated that probably won’t change. “We have a premium first model in relation to podcasting. We are the largest premium publisher in this country. We are not seeking to be an aggregator for the market.

Grant Blackley

Blackley said SCA’s podcasts model has attracted some of the best podcast creators in Australia. “They like the care and attention we pay to their product. We are a simple solution for content creators in that we provide curation, production, direction and procurement, distribution and monetisation. We are a valuable business partner for content creators. We limit ourselves to what we see as premium content and we are very selective. We monetise that content for our partners and as that grows we share that with the creators.

SCA wants podcast growth within a commercial structure. “We are not here to have a library of 1000 podcasts. We will cull our list from time to time to improve. I emphasis again we are a very focused on being a premium publisher and we can’t serve every single podcaster’s needs. We subsequently get a premium outcome from the monetisation process.”

Project LiSTNR: Three years, nearly 200 staff

Blackley: “This has involved over 180 people in 24 locations over three years. It is a home-grown product, created and built by SCA’s teams. There is nothing else available that matches what LiSTNR can offer.

Nothing like this has existed before. Advertisers and agencies will give this serious attention and migrate to LiSTNR. This will deliver a scaled personalised and targeted solution with known audiences. That is what the industry has been seeking.”

Blackley said there are no commercial partners on LiSTNR at launch as the focus has been on building the product to this date.

“We have a whole range of commercial partners who will come to LiSTNR that are already associated with other SCA products from radio to news to podcasting. Now it has been launched monetisation will follow very quickly.

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