Listen for a Smart Life
2020 Finalist

Listen for a Smart Life

JoongAng Group

Mapo-gu, Korea, Republic Of

Category Audio

Overview of this campaign

Korea is facing a period of major social change on the issue of gender equality since the ‘Me Too’ movement first gained traction in 2018. However, media dedicated to millennial women, who hold the key to this change, was non-existent in the country. LSL is an audio news service launched by the JoongAng Ilbo in preemptive recognition of that need.
LSL is striving to encourage social change by creating the following targeted and tailored content:
1) Friendly and in-depth current affairs content for women
2) Extensive interviews with internationally recognized female role models
3) An article series on eradicating digital sex crime
4) Healing campaigns based on understanding and empathy
Of particular note is the interviews with female role models that were conducted for an annual campaign titled ‘How Powerful We Are.’ The podcast spoke to 30 incredible women, including forensic psychologist Lee SooJung, who was on the BBC’s list of 100 of the most inspiring and influential women for 2019. The lives of these outstanding women were presented in a storytelling format paired with in-depth interviews, in an effort to inspire the audience. 
Our business strategy was to expand our subscription base by utilizing our loyal initial followers.  
1) We came up with a branding strategy to strengthen each reporter’s specialty area and maximize their individuality so reporters can become influencers. 
2) We took care to design the service so that our followers can engage with us throughout the year through daily podcasts, weekly newsletters, monthly social clubs and annual conferences in order to lock in our audience and prevent disengagement.
3) We aimed to create on-demand news where subscribers get involved in the production process and were able to consolidate our followers’ loyalty, which we hope will attract advertising revenue and lead to profitable business projects.

Results for this campaign

1) LSL quickly became a favorite on the smartphone screens of Korean women. In 2019, we produced more than 200 installments of the podcast, saw a record of more than 18 million plays, was selected the best Apple Podcast of 2019 and our number of followers is still growing rapidly. 
2) LSL has raised the status of millennial women as opinion leaders and news consumers who drive societal change. We formed a strong community of our audience members dubbed ‘Listeners for a Smart Life’, which has developed into a group that campaigns for the rights of women. In recognition of this achievement, LSL was given the Minister of Gender Equality & Family Award. The ‘How Powerful We Are’ campaign continues to see huge popularity among our audience and our off-line conference was a success with 200 seats sold out within a day. In 2020, we plan on switching to a membership model to create a stable revenue structure.
3) By branding each reporter with strategies that employ tools such as depicting journalists as more approachable character illustrations, we lowered the threshold of current affairs media to attract a new generation of followers. We broke the stereotype that journalists are authoritative figures and instead presented journalists in an empathetic newsroom who can identify with our audience.
4) As an in-house startup organization, LSL is proof of how a group of experts can achieve great results. The success of LSL is a great example of how newspapers can achieve a digital transformation and attract the younger generation. As an unparalleled service in Asia, 9% of the total plays were generated globally and as such, we believe LSL should act as a benchmark of the industry and academia, both at home and abroad. 


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