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The Economist, spoken: beyond podcast

Well, I’m a The Economist zealot. If only they didn’t depend so much on the views of the Prisa group (and thus managed to get a balanced reporting of events in Spain) they would be «practically perfect in every way», just like Mary P.

Or at least «comparatively perfect…» But to the point. They have recently launched a spoken version of their magazine. Not just excerpts or leaders, mind you: the whole magazine. Over a couple of hours of listening, over 100Mb of word-by-word rendering of the texts. Divided in more digestible 10Mb section downloads, and then into individual article files. Without the financial indicators and (alas) the wonderfully illustrative drawings.

It is free for subscribers. And it was launched only after The Economist did an email campaign to gather pre-registrations and gauge the real interest in the new experimental product. And (finally) it blows away all business podcasts you care to mention, from HBR pontifexcasting to INSEAD to BusinessWeek (including the revered Jack Welch). Or it likely does: I confess to not having listened to it all yet :-).

They were among the first to put serious value-added content on the web and use it as a paid distribution channel. They still lead the way in sensible use of the net, including 2.0 niceties and original content. This latest blockbuster idea (distributed through their new TalkingIssues spoken-content outfit, not yet open to the general public) may or may not work, but it adds value indeed. Keep on the good work.

And dump Prisa. Please.



  1. Pingback: The Economist hablado, mas allá del Podcast « CiberPrensa - junio 3, 2007

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