Media associated with this campaign
Overview of this campaign
The Economist has been involved in digital-audio publishing for a long time. It launched its first podcasts in 2006—back in the heyday of the iPod, Apple loaded The Economist podcasts onto the demo devices found in its stores—and we now publish five shows a week, plus various extras. In 2007 we launched our audio edition, which consists of every story from each week’s print edition, read aloud by professional newsreaders.
A daily podcast was the next logical step. We thought it was the ideal way to introduce listeners to the breadth and depth of our journalism, every weekday.
“The Intelligence” sits within ‘Economist Radio’ which as per our brand values, works to provide sound reasoning on current affairs, business and finance, science and technology, and global issues.
Its host is Jason Palmer who previously worked on The Economist's science desk and as editor of Espresso, our morning-briefing email and app.
Other podcast series include: “The Economist asks”, a weekly podcast that aims to ask big questions of authors, politicians, celebrities and other notable people on big issues; “Money talks”, a weekly podcast on the markets, the economy and the world of business; and “Babbage”, a weekly podcast on the innovations, discoveries and gadgetry making the news.
“The Intelligence” brings The Economist to life in audio every day. It complements our existing output for existing subscribers and acts as an introduction to our journalism for those not already familiar with it.
The Economist regards audio as an ideal way to extend the reach of our distinctively global, analytical and mind-stretching style of journalism and introduce ourselves to new audiences.
With “The Intelligence” we can keep listeners up to date with global affairs and utilise the global reach of our network of correspondents in 22 offices around the world, from Mexico City to Madrid to Moscow to Mumbai.
The general news topic of the daily podcast are broad enough to entice new audiences, and the regularity is simple enough for it to cut through on social media and other marketing platforms.
When our podcasts cover something newsworthy, we publish it on the homepage of economist.com. This is particularly true with “The Intelligence”, which aims to cover a key news story each weekday.
Results for this campaign
When “The Intelligence” first launched in January 2019, we had a full marketing campaign across all of our channels to make people aware of the new podcast. We made “The Intelligence” easy to find for Economist fans and newbies by securing a place on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Acast and Economist.com. We created a unique logo and placed ads on Economist.com and in the weekly print edition. We developed a trailer and an audio ad, which we cross-promoted on our other podcasts. We secured press mentions in UK and European media outlets and our social team ran promotions and editorial posts. All of it resulted in one of the The Economist’s most successful launches.
Since then we continue to promote “The Intelligence” through PR and social media. Our Economist Radio Twitter account has grown to 43K followers via engagement with followers interested in our Radio content.
“The Intelligence” currently reaches 1.5m monthly uniques, with 6m-7m downloads per month. On a weekly basis, it reaches approximately 500,000 listeners who download 3-4 episodes each week on average. “The Intelligence” has exceeded 60m downloads since launch. Listeners can find it in a variety of places including Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts/iTunes and TuneIn.
Economist Radio is first and foremost a chance for us to deepen our engagement with our readers, prospects and fans. Many of our subscribers and potential subscribers are based in the US so our daily podcast is another way to reach consumers Stateside on their way to work in the morning and bring them into The Economist’s world.
The Intelligence does host advertising from notable advertisers like BP, Nutmeg, Capital One, Mastercard, but the primary purpose of the podcast is brand awareness. Many newcomers to a media brand do not necessarily start out by reading print products. Audio is a great medium for recruiting newcomers and offering more value to existing subscribers.