Sweden Spellbinds Travelers With New Chilling Audio Story

The vast forests of Sweden possess both beauty and tranquility – but also drama and mystique. Sweden invites travelers to discover the country’s myth-filled forest in a spellbinding audio story written by internationally renowned author John Ajivde Lindqvist, only available in the Swedish forest. Through the short story, visitors receive an immersive experience of the country’s enchanted nature – home to some of the world’s most famous folkloric beings.

See a video trailer of the story: https://youtube/X2nLmi6dCIE

For centuries, the Swedish people have told supernatural stories to help make sense of events that could not be explained through logic alone. The fog sweeping across the meadows was the fairies dancing, and the roaring brook was ‘the Nixie’ luring women and children into the water. This has resulted in a rich mythological world featuring some of the world’s most famous creatures all born in Sweden’s vast, deep forests. Still today, the intersection of nature and supernatural play an important role in Swedish storytelling and with 70% of the country covered by forest, it’s no wonder myths figure so prominently in Sweden’s collective imagination.

Ajivde Lindqvist’s new audio story Kiln brings the mythic Swedish nature to life, seducing listeners deeper and deeper into the woods. The story is experienced in the first person, inviting listeners to literally walk in the footsteps of a character who encounters the enchanting ‘Huldra’, a forest nymph from Swedish folklore. However, those looking to experience the haunting story for themselves can only do so if present in the Swedish forest. A geo-restriction has been applies to make the story fully immersive, inviting the listener to discover the mystery of Sweden with all their senses.

“The supernatural has always played a role in Swedish culture. It is more than just a backdrop to the crime stories and Nordi noir movies that have made the country famous”, says John Avid Lindqvist. “Now, the world is welcome to discover it for themselves in a truly immersive experience. As a horror author, when I enter a forest, ai only need a glimpse of the dark side of a stone or the knots of a tree to trigger my imagination. Nature seems to come alive and lures you to come after it.”

The audio story brings Sweden’s rich folklore to life. More and more people travel to Sweden, attracted by its unspoilt natural landscapes and progressive lifestyle, as depicted in so many popular TV series, books, and films. For example, literary pilgrims travel to walk in the footsteps of Lisbeth Salander, the heroine from the much loved Millennium trilogy, by Swedish author Stieg Larsson.

“Looking at what travelers are seeking when planning a holiday, many have a desire to discover something new. We want to inspire the world to come and experience something completely different,” says Nils Persson, Chief Marketing Officer, Visit Sweden. “The Swedish forests have historically been home to many fascinating creatures, now we want to introduce the world to their spellbinding beautiful home … if you dare.”

For those who dare, the geo-restricted audio story is available for free on Visit Sweden’s website. Here, visitors can also discover the best locations for experiencing the story, plus learn about the different mythological creatures from Swedish folklore.

Come, be spellbound by Sweden; where fairy tales, culture, and nature meet.

For inspiring imagery: https://bit.ly/spellboundbySweden

Learn more about the experience: https://visitsweden.com/spellbound-by-sweden/

For further information, please contact: Melinda Martino, PR Director at Visit Sweden US, melinda.martino@visitsweden.com (+1)-917-340-9330

About the author, John Avid Lindqvist

International bestselling author, John Avid Lindqvist is often referred to as the “Swedish Stephen King”. His most prominent works include Let the Right One In – now a new TV series – and Border, which were both made into films that received top honors at film festivals, including Tribeca Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival. His thrilling stories mix Nordic noir, social realism and supernatural horror and have captured audiences in more than 30 countries. Since his debut novel in 2004, Let the Right One In, he has published 20 novels, short stories and dramatic works. His books are published in 33 countries, including Australia, China, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, France, and United States.

Visit Sweden has an official assignment from the Swedish government to market Sweden as a tourist destination. Our vision is that Sweden by 2030 is the world’s most sustainable and attractive travel destination built on innovation. Now, more than ever, purposeful travel needs to be meaningful, conscious, and creating lasting value with regards to our guests, for the local community and our planet. Welcome to Sweden.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

The Democracy Group Launches Fellowship For Aspiring Gen Z Podcasters

The Democracy Group, a collective of 17 podcasts on democracy and civic engagement, is thrilled to announce the launch of a new initiative to help high school and college students make their voices heard on topics in democracy.

The network’s podcast fellowship will pair students with mentors from The Democracy Group to develop a concept for a podcast and record a trailer and at least one full episode. In addition to one-on-one coaching, students will have access to a library of on-demand content about how to produce and promote podcasts that build and provide educational value to listeners.

According to The Creators from Sounds Profitable, only 25% of podcast creators are in the 18-24 age group. That number is likely even lower among politics and government podcasts, which tend to be hosted by experts and professionals in the field.

“This fellowship will give younger generations the opportunity to share their perspective and help bridge generational divides in politics,” said Jenna Spinelle, founder of The Democracy Group. “I’m so excited to hear what the students come up with.”

The fellowship is open to any high school or college student or group of students working as a team. Applications are due October 21, and acceptance notifications will be sent November 28. The first cohort will begin the program in January.

The program is supported by a gift from the Bridge Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 organizations dedicated to strengthening American democracy. Podcasts produced by fellowship participants will be shared across The Democracy Group’s podcasts and on The Fulcrum, a democracy-focused news site run by the Bridge Alliance.

“The Bridge Alliance hopes to excite, encourage and educate young leaders to be the citizens our nation needs. This fellowship program expands our possibilities and increases the potential that future generations will live up to the promise in our founding documents,” said Bridge Alliance Founder and Chairman David L. Nevins. “America is stronger if we use our civic voices to strengthen our democracy. We are excited to support that opportunity to the next generation of leaders.”

In addition to the contribution from the Bridge Alliance, Democracy Group partners Think Media and Muckraker shared expertise on podcast marketing and addressing misinformation in fellowship lessons.

Visit The Democracy Group website to learn more about the fellowship and access the application. The Democracy Group is an initiative of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Audio Ads Deliver Publishers A 25% Increase, Without Disrupting User Experiences

Advertisers across sectors have seen a positive return on their audio advertising investment placed on the web, mobile, and other online content. “With such high listen-through rates, it is no surprise that advertisers are returning to this medium,” said Oren Fadloun, Founder & CEO of Mars Media Group (MMG).

Mars Media Group’s latest data shows significant return for app-owners and publishers who have attributed high engagement and improved listen-through rates to the shift in advertising budgets towards in-game audio. Working together with advertisers, publishers have reported a 25% increase in revenue, showing incredible performance of an over 85% listen-through rate (LTR).

Audio advertising has been around for generations but has been flat over the last number of years as visual ads fill the online space. As American adults spend an average 28.5 hours a week as creating on-screen clutter. What’s more, site owners and app managers are forced to give up critical real estate above the fold in order to maintain revenue for their sites. Recognizing new opportunities, publishers are shifting from visual promotions, to offering audio advertising slots to advertisers during times of premium engagement.

Looking to the old medium, audio has provided new revenue streams for application and website owners without needing to create new code or force users to watch an ad that may result in navigating away. “The publishers we work with report a significant revenue increase, mainly from the in-game audio placements,” said Oren Fadloun, Founder and CEO of MMG, a global digital advertising group operating since 2005 that offers proprietary innovative technological solutions for advertisers and publishers. “With audio, there’s no need for pop-ups or intrusive advertising formats. It’s weightless, demands fewer resources from the app, presents an opportunity for the entire process to remain in the audio sphere, and is non-disruptive to the user. Some also allow users to engage via headset or device microphones. Ultimately, with such high listen-through rates, it is no surprise that advertisers are returning to this medium.”

MMG’s data shows that since the beginning of the year, around 30% of online brands’ advertising budgets have been shifted to audio marketing. This can be attributed to audio’s lower cost per thousand impressions and the ability to play the right ad for the right audience in the right space. Some publishers are promoting audio as an opportunity for a first touch point, letting consumers get to know the brand or keeping them fresh until they are ready to purchase – all in a non-intrusive manner.

“We bring the revenue stream along with the technology,” said Dotan Shaiak, CEO of MMG. “MMG has seen an uptick in publishers who are looking to pair with advertisers who want to make the most of this primed audience while they are in a consumer mindset.”

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

LWC Studios Welcomes Pacific Content Co-Founder Steve Pratt To Advisory Board

LWC Studios, a Peabody-nominated digital production studio, announced Steve Pratt, former Pacific Content co-founder, is joining its advisory board. As a former TV executive, having worked with some of the biggest media brands, and co-founder of the world’s first branded podcast agency, Steve brings decades of experience, insight, and a broad set of expertise to LWC Studios.

He joins current board member: audio production and editorial consultant Rehka Murthy, Chris Colbert, Founder and CEO of DCP Entertainment, Pablo Fuentes, Founder of Makepath, and Lesley Lopez, Partner of ReKon Productions. The group helps guide the company’s initiatives and the development of its slate of original narrative-driven work across podcasts and other digital media.

“This makes it official. Steve has been a trusted and supportive friend to LWC Studios for several years, always ready to get on a call or make an introduction, always eager to share his hard-won wisdom in building one of the strongest branded content companies in podcasting. We’re so thankful for his commitment,” says Juleyka Lantigua, Founder and CEO of LWC Studios.

“When Juleyka and I met for the first time, I knew LWC Studios was a special company with a very special founder and leader. LWC Studios is a values-driven company that has storytelling, experimentation, and community deep in its DNA, and I couldn’t be more excited to work more closely with Juleyka and her team by joining their Advisory Board,” Pratt says.

Steve Pratt is the founder of The Creativity Business, a strategy firm helping companies find success with the right balance of creativity and business. He is the former co-founder of the world’s first and leading branded podcast agency, Pacific Content. Named one of Entrepreneur’s 100 Brilliant Companies, BMW, NYT, Dell Technologies, Facebook, Rocket Mortgage, Slack, Shopify, Zendesk, Morgan Stanley, Charles Schwab, Prudential, Adobe, and Atlassian. Pacific Content was started from scratch with no investment in 2014 and was sold to Rogers Communications in 2019.

Visit LWCStudios.com for more information in its work and Advisory Board.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

RAB And Amplifi Media To Benchmark Local Podcast Advertising Revenue

The Radio Advertising Bureau, announced a new partnership with Amplifi Media with the goal of benchmarking the local marketplace’s podcast advertising revenue. Radio groups and stations are invited to participate in the “Local Podcast Opportunity” survey and provide insights into the challenges, opportunities, and revenue generating successes they’ve been able to provide local advertising clients.

“We know that podcast advertising dollars continue to grow and we’re seeing good momentum at the local level, however, we have not been able to size the market up,” said Erica Farber, president and CEO, RAB. “By partnering with Amplifi Media, which has been at the advent and a leader in the podcast space, we hope to be able to provide broadcast radio a benchmark report that can show the growth and opportunities ahead.”

“Up to this point, podcasting has been national, but that is changing rapidly as local sports, news, food and culture podcasts are popping up across the country from major companies and entrepreneurial content creators,” said Steve Goldstein, founder and CEO, Amplifi Media. “Local podcasts are a remarkable opportunity for radio stations to both retain and grow audience. That’s why Amplifi partnered with RAB to field the first survey examining what’s happening with commercial radio and local podcasts. It is a landmark study with tremendous implications.”

The Local Podcast Opportunity survey aims to uncover the current state of local podcasting among commercial radio and identify guidelines to create, scale, and monetize.

This is the first survey among commercial broadcasters aggregating the state of local podcasts. We will present to the RAB board, develop a white paper and host a webinar, providing a roadmap on how your stations can use local podcasting to attract new revenue, find new listeners, and re-engage local audiences spending less time with commercial radio.

The “Local Podcast Opportunity” survey which has been designed by Amplifi Media in partnership with RAB can be completed here and is open for four weeks. Participation is encouraged for those responsible for the digital/podcasting revenue at their station(s)/groups.

RAB will be offering a free live presentation to RAB members in November as well as issuing the “Local Podcasting Opportunity” Report at that time.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Crowd Network Bolsters Senior Leadership Team With New Commercial Director

Crowd Network (Crowd), the UK’s fastest-growing audio-on-demand network, has welcomed Katherine Hutcheson as commercial director. The appointment comes as Crowd looks to develop its commercialization strategy, targeting significant revenue growth across new and existing shows.

Launched in September 2022, Crowd its home to original shows across Crowd People and Crowd Stories divisions, with a new sports division in the pipeline. Working with major names in British entertainment, its chart-topping podcasts include The Sam and Billie Show, The Geraint Thomas Cycling Club and The Secret History Of: Flight 149.

With over 20 years’ experience in audio, Katherine has held commercial content director positions for Bauer’s National Brands, Katherine was also responsible for the commercial development and strategy for JACK Radio Group. More recently, Hutcheson was at Acast responsible for driving revenue and nurturing relationships with senior media agency stakeholders.

As Crowd’s roster of award-winning shows continues to grow, Katherine will work closely with senior leadership to target growth in new and exciting revenue streams. In April, Crowd’s first ever live show, The Joe Marler Show at The Clapham Grand, London, sold-out in just 10 hours. Hutcheson will be maximizing Crowd’s revenue streams across additional live tours, as well as sponsorship, advertising, merchandise, subscriptions, and other commercialization options.

With experience in building partnerships with leading media agencies, Katherine will also manage Crowd’s existing roster of commercial partners and target new strategic brand partnerships.

Crowd has undergone significant team growth since its launch. Starting as a team of four, the company is now 18-strong and Hutcheson’s appointment marks the latest in a string of senior hires. Former BBC creative lead Rob Roberts-Facey joined as Head of Sport in July, to lead the development of the new Crowd Sports content division.

Mike Carr, CEO of Crowd Network, said: “The podcast industry is growing and evolving quickly, and tapping into valuable revenue streams is crucial to remaining competitive. With Katherine on board, we are in a strong position to take advantage of new commercial opportunities, developing a strategy that aligns well with our brilliant slate of shows. It’s fantastic to have her as part of the team, and with her considerable experience in revenue delivery in the audio space, we are confident Katherine will help Crowd reach its next level of growth in the coming months,”

Katherine Hutcheson, commercial director at Crowd Network, said: “I’m thrilled to join Crowd Network. There is still so much untapped opportunity for growth in podcasting and audio, especially in companies like Crowd, where there is a real focus on quality shows that listeners truly connect with. There is already a strong commercial foundation within the business, with a number of its shows enjoying live shows or impressive demand for merch. I’m excited to be working closely with the team to push this further, and unlock growth for new upcoming shows too. There is so much potential at Crowd, and I can’t wait to explore it.”

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Nomono Secures Additional 35M NOK (3.6M USD) In Seed Round

Nomono, the pioneering developer of audio recording and collaboration tools that help podcasters and journalists tell immersive audio stories, announced the closing of a NOK 35 Million ($3.6M USD, €3.55M) investment round led by Schibsted Ventures that enable it to scale the market for its podcasting and spatial audio solutions.

Schibsted Ventures is the venture arm of Schibsted, a Norwegian media group globally recognized for its production and distribution of news, podcast and information across several media platforms. SINTEF Venture AS, Spintop Ventures, and Investinor – three previous investors in Nomono – also contributed to the company’s latest seed round.

This seed round announcement comes on the heels of the company’s recent launch of the Nomono Sound Capsule, a cloud-centered, self-contained recording kit for capturing audio recordings in the field, and designed specifically for professional podcasters and broadcast journalists.

“It is an honor for us to be associated with Schibsted, a globally recognized leader in the production and distribution of news and information across multiple forms of media, including podcasts. They see in Nomono a business that will revolutionize media and journalism,” says CEO Jonas Rinde. “Furthermore, securing this new round of funding in the current economic climate represents a huge validation of the company’s innovative technologies and market vision. It’s a substantial vote of confidence in our team, our technology, and our long-term future.”

Launched in May 2022, the Nomono Sound Capsule includes a Wi-Fi enabled recorder that combines four ultra-compact wireless lacier mics with a 360-degree spatial audio microphone array and weighs less than 4 pounds. The Nomono Sound Capsule connects seamlessly to the Nomono Web App, an online audio collaboration tool where content creators backup their recordings, collaborate with their production team, and apply Ai-powered dialogue enhancement processing to ensure their audio sounds the best it can before starting the editorial process.

With unparalleled portability and ease-of-use, Nomono’s combined solutions are revolutionizing how professional-quality audio is created. Unlike current podcasting workflows that depend on separate field recorders, microphones, mixers and accessories, Nomono offers a portable, all-in-one field recording solution built specifically for podcasters and journalists that automatically uploads recordings to an intuitive cloud-based audio collaboration and preparation tool. Public pre-orders for the Sound Capsule will open during the fall of 2022, and the Web App is currently available through a free public beta.

“Creating a truly disruptive hardware solution is extremely difficult, but Nomono has the proven team and technology to deliver on its ambitious promise. Already, we’ve seen noticeable impact the Nomono platform will have on podcast creators around the globe,” explained Mats Staugaard, Investment Manager at Schibsted Ventures. “We look forward to supporting the Nomono team every step of the way to revolutionize the rapidly growing podcast industry.”

The company has previously received over 120MNOK ($12.4M USD, €12.2M) in funding through seed investors including SINTEF Venture 5 AS, Skyfall Ventures, Spintop Ventures, Investinor, and research support grants from the Research Council of Norway, and Innovation Norway.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

NPR Selects Veritonic For Brand Lift And Attribution

Veritonic, the industry’s comprehensive audio analytics and research platform, announced that NPR has selected the company’s audio-first attribution and brand lift solutions to provide best-in-class campaign performance data to their corporate sponsors. The data from Veritonic’s audio-first measurement solutions will provide NPR sponsors with full-funnel, independent and holistic campaign measurement that will allow them to optimize and further increase the ROI of their audio campaigns.

“Veritonic shares our passion for driving the audio industry forward, and we are thrilled to be leveraging their robust and independent attribution and brand lift measurement,” said Gina Garrubbo, President & CEO of National Public Media, the sponsorship subsidiary of NPR. “Veritonic’s indispensable data and analytics will enable our sponsors to understand the performance of ROI of their audio in a more comprehensive and holistic manner than ever before.”

“We are pleased to be supporting NPR in providing their sponsors with the reliable data and analytics they need to increase their ROI,” said Scott Simonelli, chief executive officer of Veritonic. “The powerful combination of attribution and brand lift provides full audio campaign lifecycle management and measurement that can’t be found anywhere else. The ability to glean actionable data from top-of-the-funnel branding initiatives through bottom-of-the-funnel conversions & transactions remain critical in creating and maintaining a high-return audio strategy.”

For more information about Veritonic’s brand lift and attribution solution or to get started, visit www.veritonic.com or contact sales@veritonic.com.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Audiohook Names Sounder Its Brand Safety And Contextual Targeting Partner

Sounder, an audio intelligence platform that builds powerful data solutions to unlock podcast monetization, brand safety, contextual targeting, and discoverability for audio content, announced it will provide its automated brand safety technology and contextual insights to Audiohook, the leading demand-side platform (DSP) for audio advertising. Audiohook will leverage Sounder’s Audio Data Cloud and its best-in-class brand safety solution to ensure advertisers can confidently and transparently invest in the full range of audio content available through its DSP.

Audiohook plans to integrate Sounder data and technology into the full purchase lifecycle for audio campaigns, providing greater transparency to audio advertisers across a wider range of content than previously possible. Prior to the execution of an audio campaign, Audiohook will leverage Sounder data and technology to enable advertisers to set brand safety and contextual targeting parameters and they plan their audio buys. Post-campaign, Audiohook will incorporate Sounder’s brand safety verification and contextual data into the reporting available for advertisers to confirm that media delivered met the appropriate parameters and guidelines.

“To date, transcriptions only exist for the most popular podcasts, but not for the rest, which greatly limits the supply of brand-safe content for advertisers,” explained Jordan Bentley, Audiohook Founder and CEO. “Sounder’s ability to process and analyze the head as well as the long-tail of audio content for context, brand safety and other key parameters – even for content they’re not exclusively hosting – is a game-changer.”

Sounder’s Audio Data Cloud leverages proprietary speech recognition technology and powerful AI/ML models to enable large publishers to quickly gain access to auto-generated episode ratings, full transcripts, keywords, summaries, topics, and more across vast libraries of content. This actionable data allows publishers to maximize the value of their content catalog. Sounder’s brand safety solution supports the guidance outlined both by GARM and the IAB.

“Our partnership with Audiohook is another powerful signal that advertisers everywhere are looking for third-party brand safety verification and contextual targeting solutions, both for managed and programmatic buys,” said Sounder CEO and Co-founder Kal Amin. “We are proud to help make audio advertising accessible to every marketer seeking to engage a captivated and engaged audience.”

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Pierre Naggar And Alex Faust Join AdTonos

AdTonos, which recently noted 10x annual growth, successfully monetizes gaming, podcasts, audiobooks, music and radio streams for over 1,000 recognized publishers across the UK, EU, LATAM, and the US, has appointed Pierre Naggar, former Global SVP of Demand at Adswizz, and Alex Faust, ex-Global Head of International Sales from Spotify, as the newest members of their board advisers and senior leadership. With over 40 years of experience between them, Naggar and Faust will provide strategic support in expanding into multiple crucial markets.

Pierre Naggar is a senior programmatic and digital audio expert and joins AdTonos with 20 years of experience in the digital advertising and marketing industry. He spent the last 7 years at AdsWizz where he oversaw commercial activities in North America and Europe focusing on the demand side. He previously held senior roles at 24/7 Realmedia, Yahoo! And Turn,

Commenting on his appointment, Pierre Naggar, AdTonos Advisor to the Board said: “Digital Audio consumption has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years and there is an incredible opportunity for advertisers to reach their desired audiences across great content. I am very excited to be joining AdTonos as Board Advisor as they enable publishers and brands to leverage the power of audio through their innovative technology solutions.”

Alex Faust is also joining AdTonos as a Board Advisor to counsel in building the direct sales and marketing function. Outside AdTonos, Faust is also an investor and advisor to founders of early-stage adtech companies.

Faust has been in the media and advertising space for over 20 years, in a variety of sales and marketing roles including VP, Global Head and Director positions at Microsoft, Global Head of International Sales at Spotify and across a number of start-ups and scaling businesses. Faust has been a media buyer, seller, marketer and has built, led and scaled successful commercial teams, workin with many of the world’s leading brands, agencies, and platforms.

Through his previous experience at Prism Entertainment, Microsoft, Spotify and Admix, Alex has built diverse, engaged teams that developed new business, retained and expanded partnerships, and strengthened relationships with key clients and internal stakeholders.

CEO and Founder of AdTonos, Michal Marrcinik, said about the recent appointment of Naggar and Faust: “The 10x annual revenue growth we are experiencing is not coming from nowhere – it is our commitment, hard work and asking the right people for the advice. As they say: “work with people smarter than you and ask them what you should do” and that is why I am so happy that Alex and Pierre are joining us. Their extraordinary, senior experience at Spotify and AdsWizz will bring AdTonos to a much larger scale and as we already stated shaping new strategies, I dare to say, the growth acceleration is something very likely to sustain in 2023.”

Alex Faust, AdTonos Board Advisor said, “I’m really looking forward to helping Michal and the team accelerate growth at AdTonos. The recent growth, along with their incredible product offering puts the business in great shape to capture a significant share in the rapidly expanding digital audio market. Timing is so important with early-stage businesses – for AdTonos, it feels like things are in the right place at just the right time. I can’t wait to get going.”

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News