Two French Bertelsmann companies are joining forces. RTL Groupe M6, part of RTL Group, and the G+J subsidiary Prisma Media are jointly establishing a podcast platform. It follows the model of Germany’s Audio Now platform, pooling the media companies’ audio content. Right from the start, Audio Now France offers around 100 podcasts.
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In Germany, Audio Now has been a Bertelsmann Content Alliance flagship project since March 2019. Now, two of the Group’s content companies in France are following suit: Groupe M6, part of RTL Group, and the G+J subsidiary Prisma Media are establishing a joint podcast platform with the same name and principles. In response to ever-growing demand, the partners and Bertelsmann sisters will pool all the audio content from the two media groups. Right from the start, the new Audio Now France app will provide access to around 100 original French podcast productions. They come from the catalogs of Groupe M6 and Prisma Media, as well as other well-known partners such as Bayard, Groupe Figaro, Les Echos-Le Parisiens, and L’Équipe.
The Who’s Who of French media brands
While the new alliance brings together the audio offerings of a Who’s Who of French media brands Prisma Media and Groupe M6 have already given assurances that they will also produce exclusive new content for Audio Now, including Les savoirs inutiles from Prisma Media’s “Neon” brand and Les imposteurs from RTL Radio, which is part of Groupe M6. The new podcast platform is designed to facilitate access to audio content for a broad audience through clear navigation and editorial recommendations. Audio Now France’s constantly growing podcast catalog is broken down three ways: by topics, life situation, and listening time.
Topics include current affairs, private life, stars, and crime thrillers, e.g. Typical Life situation podcasts talk about commuting, time spent with the kids or with friends, and before going to sleep. Organized according to listening time, the shortest podcasts start at five minutes, the longest last an hour or more. Interactive tools now enable podcasters to get to know their audience better and track the distribution of their content.
Valery Gerfaud, Head of Digital at Groupe M6, commented: “We are very pleased about the launch of Audio Now, which reflects our ambitions in the online audio market. The quality and variety of the podcasts, along with the app’s ease of use, will help us to very quickly establish it as a benchmark in France. We hope to bring together a large number of publishers to enrich the app and offer the widest possible range of audio publications.”
For Prisma Media, Gwendoline Michaelis, Chief Audio Officer and head of the Pôle Premium, said: “If the future belongs to the spoken word, the key question for the development of digital audio lies in the discoverability of high-quality podcasts. Our media brands and editorial and technical expertise will enable people in France to fully benefit from this new format thanks to a platform designed to support them. I look forward to the joint launch with Groupe M6 and wish us the same success as Audio Now has already had on the German market.” She added that the podcast platform there attracts more than six million users a month.
Christian Schalt, Chief Digital Officer of RTL Radio Deutschland, adds: “Podcasting is a global phenomenon and consumption is growing in many countries. Audio Now is already a local hero in Germany and it´s great that it´s becoming a supranational platform now. With every piece of content and every interaction on the platform we generate more insights and sharing this growing base of knowledge between France and Germany will make us even stronger in the competitive audio market.”