There’s this one online brand from the UK that is slowly changing the social media landscape.
Audioboom (LSE:BOOM), highly regarded as the pioneer of the spoken-word audio platform, has successfully convinced giant media outlets in and outside the United Kingdom that a lesser-known segment could expand their brand reach and improve their online reputation. But can Audioboom transcend social media and make its brand a significant voice in politics?
At the outset of this year, the UK spoken-word platform created a team that would specialize in covering international news. The David Marsland-led group has been active in giving opinions on various global political issues across various social media platforms since its launch. The company broadcasts through its website and Twitter via @audioBoomNews.
Now, the digital news team has embarked on what’s considered as its most challenging undertaking yet: the 2015 General Election.
Covering a national election is no child’s play. Most particularly if you brand yourself as a reliable source of the freshest, unbiased opinions on a subject that is considered rather complex and dreary by many. For editor-in-chief Marsland, living up to its brand is no easy feat, but choosing the most competent people and embracing dedication get the job done.
“Probably we have some of the best election coverage in Britain right now, because we have people from the Financial Times, the BBC and The Times. People don’t get involved with politics that much outside of the election’s time. But with the elections approaching, we are getting a lot of listeners for all of our political staff,” Marsland told Online Journalism Blog.
It also helps that a large fraction of Audioboom’s content partners is made up of giant media organizations such as CNN, Al Jazeera, New York Times, and BBC. It gives the platform a wider view of the event, paving the way for election-centric podcasts that are unprejudiced, balanced, and more wide-ranging.
What Audioboom is doing is not only educating a lot of people—especially the young ones—on the importance of the elections and being part of a democratic nation. The platform is also providing different views on various parties involved in the much-awaited May 7 event.
Audioboom is in the position where influencing someone else’s views is highly feasible. That’s why it is not focused on celebrating only a specific party like how other news entities surreptitiously campaign for the Tory, the UKIP, the Greens, or the LP. For the audio platform, dissemination of unbiased information is the best way to put the audience in a position where they are free to think, scrutinize, and decide.
A research conducted by King’s College London and market research firm Ipsos MORI revealed that almost a third of young people’s votes will be influenced by whatever is being disseminated through and on social media.
Social media is also considered as one of the potential voting influencers alongside newspapers, TV debates, and election broadcasts. However, the research also showed that most people think that the ubiquity of election-related posts on Facebook and Twitter make political debates a bit conflict-ridden and shallow.
Perhaps Audioboom’s existence is a substantial respite from all the superficialities present on social media these days. It’s a good thing that even in getting election-related sources, the people of Great Britain have plenty of better options to choose from. Several days from now, we will finally understand how social media affected the votes, or if it really changed the electorate’s perception as we’ve seen in 2010 when social media was excessively utilized by parties.
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