The Economist has announced that it is launching Economist Podcasts+, a new subscription to build on the success of its shows and support future growth. A subscription will include exclusive access to Boss Class, a new limited series on management; The Weekend Intelligence, a new Saturday edition of The Economist’s show on world news; as well as The Economist’s entire collection of weekly podcasts on business, science and technology, China and American politics.
“With our podcast audience doubling in the past three years to 5m monthly unique listeners, audio has become our fastest-growing platform and has proven to be an important way to bring our journalism to new and diverse audiences,” said Bob Cohn, president, The Economist. “We think the new shows and features that are part of Economist Podcasts+ are a great addition to our strong portfolio.”
“The Economist has always been known for its global reporting and in-depth analysis,” said John Prideaux, executive director of podcasts and US editor. “On our podcasts, our journalists help listeners make sense of the big news shaping the world, from Xi Jinping’s global ambitions and the future of Russia to American politics and the impact of artificial intelligence. Podcasting allows us to take a lot of the qualities that make The Economist special and bring them to a wider audience. We’re looking forward to making some ambitious new series for Economist Podcasts+.”
Launching in mid-October, the new service will cost $/£4.90 per month or $/£49 per year, says The Economist. Pre-orders are on sale now, and customers subscribing between now and launch will receive 50% off an annual subscription, added the publisher. Current subscribers to The Economist will enjoy all of the benefits of Economist Podcasts+ at no additional cost. The weekday episodes of The Economist’s flagship programme, The Intelligence, will remain available to non-subscribers, as will sample episodes of weekly shows and limited series podcasts.
“The decision to create a subscription tier for podcasts is the logical result of our approach to our business across digital and print: we produce premium journalism for subscribers around the world and make it available at a fair price,” said Cohn. “We think podcasting ought to follow that model, and we believe this initiative will enable further investment in our audio offerings.”
Boss Class, a new podcast hosted by the author of The Economist’s leadership and management column, Bartleby, will be the first original limited series for subscribers, says The Economist. Andrew Palmer, the host of Boss Class, will bring the wry sensibility of the popular newspaper column as he takes on the future of management with CEOs, anthropologists and experts on everything from hiring to hybrid work.
Subscribers will also have exclusive access to The Weekend Intelligence, the Saturday edition of The Economist’s weekday public affairs show, The Intelligence. Featuring narrative storytelling and deeper reporting from Economist writers around the world, the weekend episode will, like the weekday shows, be hosted by Ore Ogunbiyi and Jason Palmer.
Since producing its first podcast in 2006, The Economist says it has built a stable of shows that showcase the breadth and originality of its journalism. Today the portfolio includes:
- The Intelligence, a daily podcast on global news
- World in Brief, a daily news briefing updated three times a day
- Checks and Balance, a weekly podcast on American politics
- Money Talks, a weekly show on markets, the economy and business
- Babbage, a weekly podcast on science and technology
- Drum Tower, a weekly podcast on China, hosted by correspondents in Beijing and Taipei
- Editor’s Picks, three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue
- The Prince, a limited series on the ambitions of China’s leader, Xi Jinping
- Next Year in Moscow, a limited series on Russia’s future
The publisher says The Prince was a finalist for the 2023 National Magazine Award in Podcasting and the winner of the the Human Rights Press Award for multimedia and Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) Award for best audio reporting. The British Podcasting Awards has recognised The Economist for Best Podcast Network; The Intelligence for Best Current Affairs Podcast and Best Daily Podcast, and Money Talks for Best Business Podcast. Babbage was named the Best Science Podcast by the Association of British Science Writers in 2022.
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