In the basement of IberoAmericana Radio Chile, behind thick doors that isolate sound, is Podium Recording Studio, the podcast platform of the Spanish conglomerate Grupo Prisa in our country.
That’s where every week Elisa Zulueta and Paloma Salas record a new episode of their successful podcast experts in nothingone of the most listened to in Spotify Chile.
“Experts it doesn’t come out of nowhere,” explains Trinidad Piriz, the stage artist who arrived almost a year ago to take charge of the platform’s content.
He had experience working with sound language in the works Helen Brown (2012), Ithaca (2015) and The end (2017), which he made together with Daniel Marabolí, and also with the podcast The exploding of things (2020) which he developed with María Court. But always from an artistic approach, she had never worked in a communications company, also as big as Prisa Media is.
He comments that the general director of Prisa Audio, the Spanish María Jesús Espinosa de los Monteros, has a very powerful leadership that has turned digital audio and also the strength of the feminine, which is not the same as generating content for women, as he understood when he came to the project.
“I just turned 40 and I feel more empowered, I have done different things in my life and it has cost me to get here. I have the impression that I know how to lead teams, which is what I do here. Also, I’m a mom. You feel the strength of a generation of women who are occupying positions of power for the first time and that changes things”, affirms Trinity.
“It took me two months to collect information -who are the faces, what are the communities, the audiences- and then present a program grid. And there I thought of Elisa and Paloma”, she says. Zulueta and Salas, actress and comedian, respectively, are close friends, but represent different communities, says the director.
They started shooting pilot shows in Marchbut it took them a while to find the tone of that fresh, scattered and hilarious conversation that has conquered and that already has more than 1 million listens.
“I never expected the immediate success that happened with the experts in nothing. But I noticed two things. One, we covered a range of people who weren’t consuming other popular talk podcasts on Spotify What Weona I grew up, the friends either Thomas is going to die. And what Elisa and Paloma generate is of such intimacy that they make us believe that we are with them on a reel or in our friends’ chat. I realize by the reactions that people have in the street, they feel confident. The podcasts that do well, in general, is because that voice has a direct line with the audience, they feel that they are there for them, that they are not trying to sell them something, that it is not a demo, but that there is really someone there sharing humanity, while you are at home, in the car or riding a bicycle”, summarizes Trinidad.
He adds: “And also the Experts they have a really quick and intelligent humor. La Paloma is dedicated to stand up and Elisa is an actress, they have quite an exceptional background and know how to communicate ideas”.
between the three They have a chat where they share and select topics for each chapter. As varied as Royalty, Hairs, Dentists, Stress and Faith, among others. Once a week they make a pattern. “Elisa comes with her computer, she brings material that she found on the internet and some prepared songs, she is the matea. And Paloma writes down in her little notebook and turns everything into a good joke. They bring a lot of shine to each other. I’m at the controls, I’m like Patito Frez and they try to shut me up”, she admits with a laugh.
Paula Domínguez, Trinidad Piriz and Jorge Aspillaga, the Podium Chile team.
They work as a creative trio, also supported by the Podium production team, Jorge Aspillaga, strategist in charge of dissemination, and Paula Domínguez, producer, who are in charge make reels for social networks, choose extracts of the best moments, and go out to market the product.
“There is a whole production system, which is invisible, and that allows them to do their thing and come to shine for 40 minutes. i love the Experts, it’s the most entertaining thing in the world, but I don’t want it to eat up the rest of the platform. I want to build teams, programming and diversity, ”he assures.
The other podcasts that are currently broadcast through the platform are The whys of musicby science popularizer Gabriel León, which premieres episodes on Tuesdays and talks about the relationship between music, emotions and science; always sad club, on Wednesdays, in which Antonia Larraín and Diego Acevedo talk and question life and relationships in a more millennial and polyamorous language; and on fridays today it’s your turna program about sexuality with Cata Ramírez and Nicolás Aguirre.
Each one of them has its segment, but in general the target audience of IARC and Podium is young people, between 25 and 45 years old, who listen from their phones, with a greater audience of women, but growing more and more in the male audience.
“We also start with one of geek culture and another of Formula 1. We have ten contents above, of which we currently keep four and three more are coming. We make seasons of 12 chapters to evaluate the metrics, in general they take time to take flight, the Experts It was too explosive, but it’s not normal,” he says.
One of the benefits of digital audio is that it allows you to accurately measure the behavior of the audience, unlike radio. “We have dates. I understand what public I cover, from where they listen to me, how long the auditor stays…”, affirms the director.
The penetration of the podcast as a format has taken time in our country. It took the audience to get into the habit.
“It makes me laugh, because many still find it hard to say the word podcast. They say ‘poscas’, ‘popcad’, ‘plotcas’, so it was embarrassing to even mention it, and we played with that to promote it: ‘It doesn’t matter how you say it, the important thing is what the podcasts tell you’. I think the pandemic profoundly accelerated the idea that everyone could make a podcast. The problem with that is that the sound quality went down, and I don’t agree with that. One of my flags is the perfect sound of each of the contents. We must respect the environment and educate our listeners, because sound has spatiality, depth, movement, rhythm, and it is just as important as the content”, emphasizes Piriz.
Is about a 12-episode sound thriller directed by Trinidad herself, written by screenwriter Catalina Calcagni and with sound design by Luciano Correa. The cast is made up of Elisa Zulueta, Héctor Morales, Trinidad González, Victoria de Gregorio, Max Salgado, Daniel Alcaíno, Catalina Saavedra and Octavia Bernasconi.
And the plot is inspired by two real life cases. One of them occurred in Villarrica in 2013 in an elite school where some cases of abuse were reported, the other is framed in post-pandemic violence, specifically, in cases of anonymous audio and video that have circulated in different school communities with the aesthetics, voice and mask, of anonymous, and that announce attacks. This year, 16 of these messages have already been reported throughout Chile.
Based on this news, they fictionalized the story of an elite school in Valdivia that reports a threat of this type, before which the director of the school (González) and the president of the parent center (Morales) summon a forensic psychologist ( Zulueta) to carry out an investigation. She finds herself with garbage swept under the rug, and the narration is largely based on the notes that she is recording on her tape recorder. Guy Twin Peaksadds Piriz, to illustrate.
“Radio is to TV, as the podcast is to the cinema. It is a more refined exercise, they are slower creative processes”, she points out. The idea and writing began in March and the recording was at the end of September. The actors recorded for five days, during which a visual record was also made. “Since the podcast is digital, it also has a visual aspect. Our platform has to look like Netflix, we have to make trailers, reels, covers. Each episode has a visual identity,” she explains.
She has been listening to podcasts for ten years and her great references are American productions. Impossible to make police sound chronicle without wanting to resemble Serialacknowledges the director.
“What keeps me creative is finding our voice, Chilean or Latin American, to make a podcast. I feel that we are still in that search for a sound identity. It is a long-term process.”
In addition to lambsfrom podium are working on the production of a sound chronicle, which is an investigation of a Chilean police case led by journalist Rodrigo Fluxá and his team. It is about the death of a girl whose causes have not yet been fully clarified. Fluxá, author of the Viviana Haeger case investigation, is also in charge of writing the script.
“We were the first to line up, so we hit very well. We have a direct line with the headquarters in Spain, they are supporting us from the revision of scripts, sound designs and visuals. But at the same time we have creative freedom. Conversation podcasts speak from a Chilean idiosyncrasy, and they understand it. In the case of experts in nothing, they listened to it, they found it very funny, although there were many things they did not understand, and they trusted. They have realized that we are pro and collaboration has become more and more entertaining”, says the content director in Chile.
The commercial part, in charge of Claudio Dolz, has also worked well: “The level of engagement that podcasts have is immense, they are still less massive than radio but the audience is very loyal, a sense of community is generated, and that for brands it is very attractive”.
At the moment they rule out working with a subscription, but they do not rule out that in the future it will be a monetization tool. Spotify is a great ally, since 90% of listeners come from the application. In addition, from Podium Spain they have a very good relationship with Spotify, which generates a natural alliance.
With the good results of the first months, Podium Chile has more and more support to continue growing. “I come from the art world, but now I am happy to be here. I understand how to build capabilities, I have the resources to do it, and I know what I want to sound like. I’ve been preparing my whole life for this. Everything is rhythm”, concludes Trinidad.