Published On: Sat, Aug 29th, 2020

Podcast is social: How China’s Lizhi creates audio interactive

For Marco Lai, a owner of Chinese podcast network Lizhi, radio has always been social.

Twenty years ago, a businessman was a horde during a radio hire in southern China. He ran a late-night module where listeners could call in and discuss about anything as they wished, mostly riffing on feelings, relations or other insinuate subjects. Those who couldn’t get by a phone line sent content messages that Lai would afterwards review on air. At a time, it was a renouned and earnest indication for radio stations, that divided a income warranted from messaging fees with network carriers.

Now, Lai manages one of China’s largest podcast companies. Lizhi means “lychee” in Chinese, a savoury pleasant fruit from his hometown in a southern range of Guangdong. He picked adult one of a red-shell fruits from a tea list in his bureau as he began revelation me Lizhi’s story.

“I schooled from my days operative in radio that communication is a best monetization indication in a audio business. For years in China, a categorical income source for radio stations was these content messages,” Lai reminisced, vocalization during a relaxed, delayed gait that is uncharacteristic in China’s dog-eat-dog entrepreneurial world.

Marco Lai, owner and CEO of Lizhi (Photo: Lizhi)

The domicile itself felt some-more like a giant, mouth-watering coffee emporium than a restless workplace of a Nasdaq-listed firm. Tugged divided in a low-rise warehouse-turned-office in Guangzhou, a place is dotted with well-tended bonsai and staff sitting on bean bags behind potion assembly rooms.

Lai built a app for podcast prolongation as good as consumption, capturing both a supply and direct sides. As of June, 56 million people used Lizhi monthly. Over 6 million of them were creators, and a accumulative series of podcasts uploaded to a height strike a new record high of 215 million.

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