On April 29, 2021, the EITB Podkast portal, a meeting point for EITB podcasts, saw the light on the Internet address www.eitb.eus/eitbpodkast. Aware of the place that the podcasting has occupied in our society, the management of Euskal Irrati Telebista decided to create a new portal with a triple objective: the creation of “ad hoc” or specific content for the Portal; the preparation to offer contents of the EITB broadcast in the form of podcast; and the making available to society, to its choice and with the possibility of subscribing to the forty contents, in a simple way In January 2020 we started the coordination work for the elaboration of the portal.
The first step was to look at the radio context, because it was known that traditional radio was losing listeners year by year. Especially young people have lost the habit of receiving radio information to go online. The year 2019 is considered the year of the victory on the Internet, as the time spent on the network prevailed over television. Young people want to choose what they want to consume, either on radio or on television, or rather on youtube, which is the platform on which they usually look for audio-visual. And it"s not just the choice of young people, adults have also changed consumption habits. Currently, the largest consumption of information and, of course, the consumption of leisure is done through the mobile phone. We are immersed in the digital age and mobile is the most useful tool both for listening to online radio and for consuming à la carte content, a situation that cannot be avoided. Traditional and à la carte radio must be offered simultaneously, within reach and with quality. The format of the podcast could give rise to this, although in the EITB broadcasters there were few attempts, especially around the thematic content, which had to be given visibility in a single portal.
In the U.S. a decade ago, the contents were elaborated in podcast format, even in Latin America, and the podcast contents were exposed in an organized way through portals and aggregators or aggregators. In Europe there were examples such as the BBC Sounds service or the French public radio offer that were being transformed during the reflection period of EITB Podkast. In the case of the Spanish State, the RTVE website was the one that could offer content, but in a confusing and unattractive way. On the contrary, the private portal “Podium Podcast”, created by the HASTE group, was the generator of contents and in ascending trend. The social and media demand of the podcast portals that were looking for the best way to offer their contents was evident. Thus, if the EITB Podkast portal was to be created, it was necessary to work at two levels: content generation and technical, in order to give the portal maximum visibility and utility.
We must not forget that COVID-19, as in all other areas, was interrupted by the global pandemic. On the one hand, the domestic shutdown made it difficult to work and left the technical means necessary to face the daily media. Regarding content organization, however, the extension of internal reflection was not counterproductive nor the consumption of listening content increased due to confinement.
There are six EITB radio stations: Euskadi Irratia, Radio Euskadi and Radio Vitoria, generalists; and Gaztea, EITB irratia and Euskal-Kantak Basque Music themed, all with their own content. The next task would be to select and list potential transferors to the podcast format. After a wide range of drafts, it was decided to divide the contents into five categories: knowledge, life, music, sport and fiction.
- Knowledge should be the first opportunity to address EITB’s public service character. Placing in it content from all areas of knowledge: cultural, historical, patrimonial or ICT. It is the group with the highest number of contents.
- In the section of Life are the themes related to society. Interviews, welfare issues, garden-related issues, black chronicles, as well as tourism and adventures. We are inside, we attract the first podcast created in Basque by journalist Oier Aranzabal and we also create his “twin sister” We Are Inside, Juan G. Directed by Andres.
- The third is the subset of music. A wide range of content is collected. Florales, to note, with musical influences from the biography of the Basque musical references and colloquia with his guests of the journalist and musical expert Ekain Pérez. Meanwhile, in the podcast, Mikel Izarra wants to pick up the music of the Ercios, which are not normally in the center. Ainhoa Vitoria, from the eyes and experience of women, analyzes some themes with Olatz Salvador and Nekane Billalabeitia in the podcast Yoko ona. And in the podcast of Pasaia, Irantzu Karrera makes music stories, section by section, about authors or representative groups. Classical Music also has its own podcast, as EITB is a space with many followers. The episodes of Del txistu to Telecaster, a radio program dedicated to podcast created by Elena López Aguirre from the book The History of Basque Music, are also collected. In the catalog you will also find a Fridonia based on jazz.
- There are many current sports programs in EITB broadcasters, although timeless or specific sports content are scarce. At the moment, in addition to the biographical interviews, in Rueda, dedicated to amateur cycling, there are only Lay day podcasts, newly created, about surfing.
- It is a fictional set, which occupies the last place in the five, not least important. On the contrary, it includes radio novels that throughout history have given radio a peculiarity, as is the case of Xanti, who still has many auditions and podcasts of fiction and audio books that we will see later on.
As for the portal language, the Basque language is the basic language or axis throughout the portal, so the names of the five blocks were chosen, with words that, without having a deep knowledge of Basque, could be identified by any user of the Basque Country.
Contents are in Basque or Spanish, depending on the origin of the content, and it should not be ruled out that in the future contents are incorporated in French or English.
Regarding the designation of the portal, it was decided to write EITB Podkast ‘k’ as a brand, away from the name of the podcast format that is written in ‘c’.
Once these decisions were taken, we proceeded to the technical development of the portal itself, with the necessary contribution of engineers, graphers and technicians, to give its current image.
On April 29, the official presentation took place in Azkuna Alhóndiga Bilbao, in which the authors of the podcasts that EITB has had since the beginning, Oier Aranzabal, author in Euskera of the pioneer podkast, and Somos Adentro, the newborn “sister gemela” in Spanish, Roge Blasco, journalist of La Casa de la La. This forum also featured the podcast with which Lokatza, Ainara Lasa, Amagoia Gurrutxaga, Idurre Eskisabel and Lorea Agirre analyzed creativity from a feminist perspective.
The Archipelago, which would be announced for fall, was a dystopian fiction. With the script of the brothers Xabier and Martin Etxeberria and the production of medium ULU and EITB, it brings together actors such as Aitziber Garmendia, Eneko Sagardoy or Iñaki Beraetxe: It places us in the year 2103, three giant waves have flooded Europe, have raised the sea level 500 meters and have united as city-states the few floating enclaves, including the Basque archipelago. He announced last spring and saw the light in autumn. The presentation was special, as it was made with the lights off in the hall of the Kursaal Palace of San Sebastian, to better feel the surround sound created by Xanti Salvador and Koldo Corella.
The eight chapters of its first season have been very much welcomed, as demonstrated by the thousands of hearings held so far. It also marked a milestone, as it was 69 among the main contents of the Spanish state within the Spotify offers on October 11.
The adaptation to the podcast of Caballo Azul, created by the theater groups Arte-Drama and Huton, has taken the lead.
As a fiction, the podcast of Nora and Arene, of the series Gana so far, is composed of female athletes and interviewing referents. It is born in the hope that the teenager will attract hearing, including podcasts in the EITB universe.
Audio books with stories also aim to attract children to audio formats. The example has been El potolo de Alberdania, which combines quality stories of well-known writers with actor narratives, or the Ipui txiki collection are great podcast sounds, shared with the EITB HIRU club portal.
There are several audio books hanging on EITB Podkast. This is a contribution guided by the newly created EITB laboratory, which has been welcomed by the lack of supply on the market. At the moment I experiment, but very well received by the blind community, for example.
Aggregators or aggregators
Audio books cannot be downloaded or shared by copyright issues, but all other contents of EITB Podka can be shared. In addition to the possibility of technological support by EITB, it is also possible to access and subscribe to the contents from the most known aggregators or aggregators. For example, Spotify, Google Podcast, Ivoox, and Apple podcast, the most used by young people, so that the audios generated by EITB are as widely disseminated as possible. Currently, Podimo also offers the main contents of EITB by itself through RSS, and some emerging portals show their interest in offering content in Basque.
EITB Podkast has only just begun, has much to improve, but we have also been successful in the first relay. Oier Aranzabalen Barruan Rikardo Arrangi has been a finalist in the 2021 edition, Artxipelagoa has recently received the Argia Award and Lokatza has been for the feminist podcast the award of the co-official languages of the Podcasting Waves Awards, which will be delivered in May in Málaga.
Looking ahead, the big challenge is to continue generating content. The second season of dystopian fiction in the Archipelago is already on the way and we have broken paths to continue making room for the listening theater. At the initiative of Radio Vitoria, there will also be a place on the portal the awarded works of the annual competition of the novel radio industry in Vitoria, and we will not forget the contents that will taste children and adolescents, with the aim of attracting them to hearing. There is already the way forward.