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Voice economy (1): Voice as a vehicle of comfort

Colley Hwang, DIGITIMES, Taipei 0

Most people look at the evolution of society from a B2C perspective, expecting to get the most positive responses. But this can be a trap for business. Because of my career, I naturally start from a B2B perspective, exploring my views that are different from others, or capturing the best ones for my own use. These proven views are more valuable for referencing and practical use. Recently, I read "The Voice Economy" by Kentaro Ogata, the founder of Japanese voice platform "Voicy," and I have a few points to share with you.

With strong emphasis on quality and ethics, the B2B community economy is more suitable for the long term. Various new tools and platforms will not damage the original business, but will become powerful tools to extend demassified business opportunities. The conversion rate of voice business has a higher return than other media platforms because of the affinity between the host and the audience. But the key is to have a clear, large-scale and commercially valuable community.

Voice programs are best at "cognitive warfare" where the host's voice can easily stimulate the interest and concern of the audience, without having to provide exhaustive information. In the Internet era, many people are addicted to information, and cell phones have replaced chewing gum, which is said to have seen significant reduction in sale. So how to satisfy the desire for knowledge, increase the sense of happiness, and fill the emptiness of the audience at the right time should be the guiding principle of quality media platforms in the Internet era.

Whether for business or personal reasons, many people are trying to become opinion leaders on various online platforms, but to stand out as a "voice of excellence," they still have to face the challenges of changing tools and platforms. It's not easy for an influencer to move from Facebook to YouTube, Spotify and other social media platforms that keep emerging.

The biggest advantage of traditional media is that in addition to the existing audience, which is the community that can be cultivated at the beginning of a new issue, it can also be extended to new market segments through these new online tools. So the key is not that new online platforms are eliminating old media, but that media operators don't know how to harness the new online work.

Unlike video content, which requires a costly post-production process, "voice" is a deeply personalized medium that does not require a lot of time to disseminate and can deeply express personal characteristics, values, philosophies and experiences. The time required to produce a voice text is only one-fifth of that required to produce a written one. I am convinced that IC Broadcasting - a Hsinchu-based radio station that DIGITIMES acquired earlier this year - has a clear target audience in the physical world and a high business conversion rate. And if we devote efforts to its running, we can achieve a win-win-win situation for the audience, advertisers, and media operators.

Information that comes from the ear is less likely to be offensive to listeners, especially if the content of the program and the matching business are complementary to each other in terms of worldview and industry change, which is obvious in the electronics industry.

For example, when talking about the use of cloud services by technology companies in a radio program, you can mention the name of the sponsor before and after the program, which will not invite negative response to the sponsor from the audience, and may even enhance the image of the sponsor because of the quality of the program. This is a consensus among traditional bradcasters and podcasters.

Source: DIGITIMES, May 2022

Colley Hwang, president of DIGITIMES Asia, is a tech industry analyst with more than three decades of experience under his belt. He has written several books about the trends and developments of the tech industry, including Asian Edge: On the Frontline of the ICT World published in 2019, and Disconnected ICT Supply Chain: New Power Plays Unfolding published in 2020.
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