Learning to listen: China’s billion-dollar podcast industry


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While it may be a pipe dream for ChinaEconTalk to ever merit a billion-dollar price tag, in China, podcast “unicorns” are everywhere. Companies like Ximalaya and Yudao have multibillion-dollar valuations, but feature startlingly different content from what consumers expect in the West. What drives these differences, and what does the future hold for spoken audio in China? To answer these questions, Yi Yang, a young podcast host and founder of the Mandarin-language podcast startup JustPod 播客一下, joins Jordan to explain how, after the advent of podcasts in China, people are finally “learning to listen.”

Yi Yang’s original podcast is called LeftRight 忽左忽右. His two branded podcasts are Startup Insider 创业内幕 and Bessie’s Notes 贝望录.

ChinaEconTalk’s newsletter is dope. Sign up here at www.chinaecontalk.substack.com. The latest issues include an analysis of why Amazon lost in China and learn about the bane of China’s automobile industry.

This podcast was edited and produced by Jason MacRonald.