Former Macquarie Radio boss Rob Loewenthal is launching a new, free online podcasting platform he hopes will capture the attention of local media operators and the nascent domestic podcast industry.
The new start-up, called Whooshkaa, aims to help Australian bloggers, podcasters, celebrities and publishers monetise their talent on a large scale by injecting targeted advertising into their shows.
“There is a podcasting revolution taking place,” said Loewenthal. “Australian podcasters are making extraordinary shows. They’re funny, intelligent and edgy and we believe Australian listeners want to hear them. Whooshkaa even allows shows to be shared on social media.”
Loewenthal: “We are working with numerous advertisers”
“After almost a year in development, we believe the free Whooshkaa platform is the way Australians will want to publish and listen to podcasts,” he said. “Our format enables podcasters to earn an income from advertisers.
“There’s a synergy there that will support and strengthen the podcasting industry.”
The Whooshkaa app is available from the iTunes App Store and already aggregates more than 800 Australian podcasts plus top international shows, including Serial, TEDRadio Hour, author and mentor Tim Ferriss and Freakonomics Radio.
“Millions of people listen to podcasts every day,” said Loewenthal. “The first season alone of the US-based Serial podcast had more than 80 million downloads.
“An increasing number of Australians want quality audio when it suits them, but up to now much of the available content has been from the United States or in scattered local websites.
“Australia deserves to hear diverse, excellent podcasts that are relevant to us. We have such great, home-grown talent, and Whooshkaa provides a central source where listeners can find extraordinary audio shows, anytime, anywhere.”
Loewenthal is a former boss of Sydney’s biggest talk back radio station, Radio 2GB, which he headed between 2006 and 2014, and drew on his radio connections to launch the station.
Australian podcasters on board with Whooshkaa include: ‘The Motherhood’, with Channel 7 news presenter Jodie Speers and political journalist turned blogger Lauren Dubois; Richo’s Podcast with Labor powerbroker, former Senator Graham Richardson; Fit’n’Flexed with Dayne Hudson, and Your Tech Life with technology guru Trevor Long, founder of the online men’s lifestyle magazine EFTM, and Two Blokes Talking Tech with Long and TechGuide’s Steve Fenech.
“We are working with numerous advertisers who are interested in the podcasts hosted on our platform,” said Loewenthal.
“Whooshkaa allows advertisers to target specific geographic locations or demographic profiles and receive accurate and timely information about listener numbers and the effectiveness of their campaigns. Some of our advertisers are even working on their own podcast shows.
“Instead of podcasters paying hosting fees to make their shows available, they can post their shows for free on Whooshkaa and collect the lion’s share of any advertising they attract.”