There are now over 130 podcasts available in Welsh. 2020 has seen a dramatic rise in Welsh language podcasts.
Developing a Welsh Language Podcast Service
Helo, I’m Aled Jones. Director, developer and creator of Y Pod – Welsh language Podcast service.
You can find out more about me and my career from my LinkedIn profile.
As I begin to roll out new features and developments for Y Pod I thought it would be an opportunity to look back on the development of the service through stats and figures.
2018 – Y Pod – v. 1
I found that it was impossible to browse podcasts in my native language on any of the podcast platforms.
The major podcast players (Apple Podcasts / Google Podcasts / BBC Sounds) find it difficult to list podcasts by language and it was incredibly frustrating for me as a Welsh speaker that just wanted to find out what podcasts were out there in Welsh.
The idea behind Y Pod was to create a list of the Welsh Language podcasts. A number of Welsh language podcasts had come and gone since podcasts appeared in 2004.
After searching the internet and social media I discovered that there were 38 Welsh language podcasts currently active and being produced.
I began thinking about how I could introduce the podcasts to a wider audience and make them easily discoverable.
The objectives I set for the project were:
+ Welsh language podcasts should be found in one place.
+ The Podcasts should be easy to discover.
I set about developing a fairly basic website for Y Pod (The Pod).
Spotify stepped into the podcast market at the beginning of 2019. Although users were unable to browse podcasts by language within the product. A Welsh language tag was available in Spotify owned Anchor.fm for podcast production although this wasn’t (and still isn’t) used for browsing.
May – Social Media
After a year of developing the project for my own satisfaction I began to tell people about the project.
38 podcasts existed at this stage and the main focus of the website was to direct people to listen on other podcast platforms.
There was a great response on social media and the account accumulated followers quickly.
More and more producers started to get in touch with podcasts that they were in the middle of creating or were ready to launch.
January – 72 Welsh language podcasts
As I prepared the presentation I was surprised to discover that the original 38 podcasts had grown in number to 72 (there were others in production).
It became obvious that Y Pod was working as a promotion platform and had given producers confidence to create podcast content through the medium of Welsh.
The numbers visiting the website increased and it was at this point that I realised Y Pod had grown from a simple website into a Welsh Language Podcast Service.
March / April – Alexa: Enable Welsh Language Podcasts
March and April 2020 were important months for the service.
- I left the BBC after 23 years of employment to work as a freelancer and too create my own company – Y Pod Cyf.
- The Covid situation changed the podcasting landscape.
- May saw the launch of the first ever Welsh Language Alexa Skill.
Working with S4C and Mobilise Cloud Services resulted in the launch of the Welsh Language Podcasts skill on Amazon Alexa. It is now possible to listen to Welsh language podcasts on an Alexa device – and speak Welsh to Alexa. More here.
May – 90 Welsh language podcasts
A number of young creative producers had channelled their energy into creating podcasts as a way of communicating with a young audience.
“Lockdown” saw a number of Welsh language podcasts being launched and by Mai 2020 the number was at 90.
June – 100 Welsh language podcasts
British Podcast Awards 2020 – Welsh Language Category
We received a number of entries and the judges – myself, Sali Collins, and Sian Eleri (Radio Cymru / Radio One) agreed on a short list.
The award (presented by Siân Harries and Rhod Gilbert) was won by Dwy Iaith, Un Ymennydd fronted by Elis James.
September – Clwstwr
“Y Pod is a minority language audio journalism and podcast project aiming to create an economically sustainable service for languages unsupported by the major podcast providers.
With over one million podcasts within Apple Podcasts alone, discovering minority language news and audio journalism through existing podcast services is challenging without the ability to filter by language.
Using the Welsh language as a case study the project sets out to increase the discoverability of audio journalism and news in Welsh through a range of innovative solutions and products. ”
The project will enable Y Pod to develop the next stage of the project and look at supporting other languages that could benefit from the Y Pod model.
It is an amazing opportunity to receive advice and support from leaders within the creative sector, collaborating with other Clwstwr cohort members.
I look forward to sharing developments soon.
November – 130 Welsh language podcasts
It’s been an exciting year for Welsh language podcasters.
There are now over 130 podcasts available in the Welsh language and the numbers listening have increased massively.
Anchor FM has certainly helped podcast producers with a number of podcasts launching and using the platform.
The audience statistics and user experience for Y Pod have been very interesting and provide an insight for how the project develops.
The demographic is young with 37% of users under the age of 34. There is a great interest in podcasts for Welsh learners on a weekly basis.
By the end of 2020 users are spending a greater amount of time listening to podcasts through Y Pod rather than going to different platforms.
I’m looking forward to discussions with advertisers in Wales that want to reach a Welsh language audience that traditional broadcasters aren’t reaching.
I have presented several podcast workshops and presentations about Welsh language podcasts and Y Pod during the past 12 months, They include the Arts Council for Wales, Jomec Cymraeg, Sir Gar Greadigol and Coleg Cymraeg.
A number of producers have contacted through Y Pod to seek information and advice about creating their own podcasts, I look forward to chatting with more creatives during 2021.
Get in touch if you’d like to discuss advertising with Y Pod, podcast ideas, or even to get some advice on recording and producing your own podcast.