Value Added—Diversify Content/Brand
In this model, podcasts are seen as a way of adding value to both the consumer base and the network’s brand. Consumers get the privilege of quality audio content for free. The network gets to align itself with a quality show or host (who has cultivated a positive association for the brand), as well as experiment with another means of publishing content. For example, Audible, known for its audiobooks, is currently building up an arsenal of high-quality, original content in order to “enhance” its offerings for its subscribers.131
In this model, revenue generation is less central (and the benefits more intangible). This is exactly why, Jenna Weiss-Berman explained, BuzzFeed podcasts have been exempt from the company mandate of virality:
We’re not trying to get 10 million listens. We have things on the site that easily get 10 million hits. We’re trying to do something that shows that BuzzFeed has many different sides. We’re trying to dive deeper [...] That’s what BuzzFeed is great at—the things that make a bunch of money can support the things that make less money.132
Examples include: BuzzFeed, Audible, Panoply (podcasts add value to publishing partners).