Kleine Zeitung’s 5-part podcast series draws younger readers, new subscribers

By Paula Felps


Nashville, Tennessee, USA


September of 2021 marked a significant turning point for Graz, the capital city of the southern Austrian province of Styria. For the first time, it had a female mayor — and it now also had a communist for a mayor.

Kleine Zeitung wanted its audience to understand how the new mayor, Elke Kahr, had been able to bring communism to Graz. To tell that story, it new it had to dig deep into the past, and it decided the most effective way to tell the story was to create a podcast series.

The five-episode podcast series GrazNOST traced the rise of the Kommunistische Partei Österreichs in Graz.
The five-episode podcast series GrazNOST traced the rise of the Kommunistische Partei Österreichs in Graz.

The limited five-episode podcast series GrazNOST traced the rise of the Graz Kommunistische Partei Österreichs (KPÖ) and showed how it had gradually gained acceptance. Kleine Zeitung also wanted to take a closer look at a city now in transition and examine the era of the fallen Austrian People’s Party, looking at what the ideology of communism would mean to the city and what Grazers thought of it.

The podcast launched on September 22, 2022, and released one new episode per day through September 26. The timing was intentional, as September 26 marked one year since the election decision was announced.

In addition to being published daily on kleinezeitung.at, GrazNOST was available on all common podcast platforms. Additional political reporting appeared in the Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

History in five chapters

To kick off the podcast series, Kleine Zeitung looked at what had happened and what events had led to such a dramatic change. It looked at how the capital city would be affected and what it could mean for the city.

For the second episode, the podcast looked at Siegfried Nagl, the previous mayor who was long considered the city’s visionary. But as his projects and visions lost their shine and momentum, city residents lost faith. Nagl himself participated in the podcast, sitting down to talk about how he had lost “his city” and what it had been like to be out of the headlines — and out of power — for a year.   

Building on this perspective and insight, the podcast further explored the political reality behind the new government and looked at where things stood compared to the promises made on election day. The series concluded with a look at why extremely left-wing parties are gaining strength in Europe and what that could mean for the future.

Reaching a broad audience

With such a compelling topic, GrazNOST was the ideal way to reach new audiences. Kleine Zeitung supported it with a social media product campaign, designed to appear to a young urban target group.

And its aim proved to be right on target. The campaign generated an increase in new subscriptions among 18- to 44-year-olds, and the brand itself received a lift.

During the week it was released, it rose to the No. 4 spot on the Austrian Apple podcasts chart in the society & culture category and ranked 40th across all podcasts. The series earned 3,000 downloads and had a completion rate of 90% during the first week.

About Paula Felps

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