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News, radio Networks tap audio platform for online distribution

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Instead of building their own distribution software for audio content, media networks have started utilizing platforms like Audioboom Group PLC’s (BOOM.L) Audioboo, which has been likened to Youtube.

The Software as a Service (SaaS) platform allows not only media companies but also ordinary Internet users to register, upload, store and distribute their audio clips to the rest of the World Wide Web.

Arden Partners, a stockbroker firm that recently issued a Buy rating for Audioboom , said, “Content partners have outsourced to Audioboom rather than create their own platform as it reduces costs, meets their platform scalability and redundancy requirements and is able to deal with a range of audio formats to ensure the widest possible audience for their content.”

At present, Audioboo’s biggest partners include news and sports networks like BBC, Reuters, CNBC, Fox, Sky Sports and Southern Cross Austereo.

Among the first major partners Audioboom had was BBC. BBC started out publishing its radio clips on Audioboo in 2012. Financial Times wrote at that time that it was “a big step for the BBC” because it usually partnered with large online companies like Facebook and Twitter.

It was also during that year that BBC’s audiobook brand AudioGO was made available on the audio platform. AudioGO’s library was included in the site’s premium content, which generated revenues from users paying to listen to the audiobooks.

Recently, the BBC and Audioboo launched what it calls The Listening Project to encourage their followers to create online conversation and register with the platform.

But even during the early years of Audioboo, it already had a celebrity fan base in the United Kingdom, which included Prince Charles, Tony Blackburn, and Stephen Fry.

Its founder Mark Rock at that time sought to make Audioboo the leader in spoken word content.

From about 200,000 people listening to its audio clips in 2009, Audioboo now has 2.5 million subscribers and 13 million active users. A substantial portion of the listeners are mobile users while others have been able to listen to embedded players on partner websites, Twitter and Facebook.

Just recently, Audioboom inked a deal with Sky Sports Limited, allowing the network to own multiple channels on the platform. Sky Sports’ multi-platform television services have a reach of over 10.5 million households in both the United Kingdom and Ireland. It will have 40 sub-channels in Audioboo, including those for Premier League and other major programs.

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