Is making popular U.S. podcasts available to international audiences in their native language the next big step in cementing podcasting within the mainstream and expanding its influence? That’s the belief of iHeartMedia announces plans to translate and distribute a slate of its hit podcasts across the globe by first quarter 2020.
In the first wave, the iHeartPodcast Network will translate six podcasts series from its popular Stuff Media portfolio into the most spoken languages in the world: Stuff You Should Know, Stuff You Missed in History Class, Stuff Mom Never Told You, Stuff To Blow Your Mind, BrainStuff and TechStuff. The six initial podcasts, which have more than two billion downloads to date combined, will be translated into Spanish, Hindi, Portuguese, French, German and other languages, and will be available on major international audio distribution platforms.
Podcasting has exploded into the U.S. mainstream – among Americans 12+, the total number of people who have ever listened to a podcast passed 50% for the first time this year, per Edison Research and Triton Digital. Yet much of the world market remains untapped territory. Through these new translations, iHeart says a selection of its podcasts will be available in the native language of more than a billion people across the globe.
“By expanding some of our most popular podcast content into new languages, we see a major opportunity to introduce podcast listening at scale to whole new audiences abroad,” said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network. “What has always set podcasting apart is the engagement of the audiences – the superfans. So it makes sense to engage international audiences further and to super-serve them with content in their own languages to build their relationship with the content.”
Other podcasters have also been putting more resources toward the international market. Wondery and Stitcher announced last month they’ve partnered to create a new podcast platform they’re calling Podfront UK. The joint venture will not only bring another way for the two companies to expose their catalog of more than 300 shows to U.K. audiences but also help scale the podcasts that are being produced there for an international audience. The expansion is in part funded from a $10 million fundraising round the company has just completed.