The voice, royal voice –

(AFP) Witch, troubled, chilling, rich in information … Supersonic powers impose themselves in digital form and in our minds ready to feed and enjoy new audio content, podcast in mind.

“This is truly the golden age of audio,” Steve Ackerman, Content Director at Somethin ‘Else, the UK’s largest podcast production company, says enthusiastically.

“The change we’re seeing about podcasts is amazing. The explosion of crowds is amazing,” says the professional, whose period this period closely resembles the beginnings of TV on demand with the rise of Netflix.

The great thing about podcasts is that “there is something for everyone, whether millions or twenty like them,” he adds.

– ‘A new media habit’ –

Supporting numbers, podcast sweeps the whole world: Among the most bitten, 58% of South Koreans listened to it last month, followed by Spaniards (40%) and then Swedes (38%), according to the website. Statista portal.

The latest Edison Research Study says that about 80 million Americans listen to podcasts every week in France, and the phenomenon is spreading fast as well.

According to a study by Havas Paris / CSA Institute, 14% of French people, or 5.3 million people, listen to local podcasts on a weekly basis, that is, they do not rebroadcast.

If confinement is a “listening and discovery raster”, the podcast is “a colossal phenomenon that speeds up everything that happens”, analyzed in October by the director of the CSA Institute during the Paris Podcast Festival, Yves del Fret.

It intervenes “in places where the screens are not enabled, when it works, drives, runs,” notes Steve Ackerman, who sees the development of a “new media habit”.

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Same enthusiasm for the audiobook, designed primarily for the blind. The news mark: Online music platform Spotify launched its own podcasts narrated by celebrities such as actress Hilary Swank and comedian Forrest Whitaker.

– The brain is more approachable –

Listening to stories just through sound “can have a more exciting side and be very captivating,” speech specialist Elizabeth Fresnel, founder of the Sound Lab, explains to AFP.

This was confirmed by a study by experimental psychologist Daniel Richardson at University College London who wanted to compare the effect of sound and video on the brain.

To do so, students watched and then listened to the audio version of the main scenes from the “Silence of the Lambs” and the “Game of Thrones” series, in particular the beheading of Ned Stark.

Upon arrival, the researcher encountered a contradiction: The students reported a stronger emotional reaction to the videos, but their bodies showed the opposite.

“With the vocal version, the body temperature was higher, the heart rate rose and decreased more, and the electrical activity of the dermis, which shows physical arousal, was more important. In fact, their brain was more tense and this was reflected in their functions.”

Passion without amazing

“The sound is very emotional,” says journalist Charlotte Podloski, who in 2018 co-founded Louie Media, one of the first podcast studios in France.

In her latest production entitled “Or Maybe a Night”, the journalist dissected in six episodes the mechanisms of silence about sexual violence through various testimonies.

“The voices of these women are the bearers of this violence,” she recounts, referring to a voice suddenly or otherwise stumbling over the word rape.

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“When you tell these stories, it’s easy to fall into the sordid. (The voice) allows you to avoid falling into the stunned, the vulgar,” and “find a point of balance” between emotion and dimension, you think.

“You can manipulate your emotions over images of your body,” Elizabeth Fresnel says, through attitude and expression, “but your voice will say more than just an image of you and what you feel.”

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