Podcasts, mobile, social media and SEO at Christmas

The digital news roundup this week is an eclectic mix that includes;

  • a look at the rise of podcasting in the age of the smart phone
  • mobile content and the development of the Buzzfeed news app
  • social media and political extremism
  • Christmas and seasonal SEO.


The Economist’s Robin Raven told journalism.co.uk that the economist podcast app continues to increase in popularity; indeed, users of the app tend to be the most engaged of the publication’s online users.   “They tend to stay in the app,” Raven said,  “and the churn rate of users leaving the subscription is lower among those who have engaged with audio. The audience that uses the audio portion of our [app] digital edition is probably our most engaged.

Meanwhile, the BBC celebrated 10 years of its podcast app and declared that the audio shows are now more popular than ever. The BBC said: “Podcasting is being embraced by smartphone users, with record numbers downloading BBC programmes. Latest figures show 24 million UK downloads of BBC programmes in August alone – an increase of 36% on the same time last year.”

Elsewhere, Buzzfeed has announced it has hired the FT’s Stacy-Marie Ishmael to lead on the new Buzzfeed news app. She’ll be running an international editorial team to give the app 24-hour coverage

Social media

In social media this week wired  claims that contrary to popular opinion social media makes us all less rather than more politically extreme. A report that flies in the face of the speculation in the UK and US press that social media is the new platform for terrorists.

Finally, with Christmas winging its way towards us, econsultancy ran a noteworthy blog on sites that plan (or fail to plan) their SEO strategies for seasonal events.  Using examples for Christmas-related search terms, the blog analyses the best strategy for ranking during the silly season.