Flipboard does audio, and why segmentation matters

Flipboard Audio

Today, Flipboard added audio playback controls and a new Audio category to its app:

The section is searchable but comes with recommended SoundCloud users, as well as popular shows from NPR (National Public Radio) and PRI (Public Radio International).

I’ve played with the new Flipboard for a while, and it’s yet another example of why  segmentation matters, and how for public radio, the atomic element is the story.

Radio networks and shows that split their programming up into sharable, spreadable component parts are reaping the rewards of new platforms. And it’s not just Flipboard.

  • Audiofiles is a web-based sharing and discovery platform for radio, sorting stories based on mood, type, length, producer, and source.
  • NPR’s Infinite Player is like Pandora for public radio, playing a customized stream of stories that listeners can fine-tune as they listen.
  • The Super Times is a forthcoming iPhone app that assembles a personalized audio magazine of “the best audio stories from around the web.”

All of these platforms rely on content being broken up into its component parts. Segmentation is a prerequisite.

As of late 2011, Flipboard had 5 million users. That’s the opportunity here — to reach millions of potential new listeners, inside an app they already know and use.

So then, for radio programmers: even if you have the best content in the entire world, if you don’t split it up into easily sharable pieces, you’ll miss out on a whole new wave of new consumption technologies. I’m looking at you, CBC Radio.

Get out your scissors. Quickly.