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Audio content management: Harnessing the power of voice through your CMS

illustration depicting collection of audio content features and CMS

With the rise of voice-activated devices, audio content is more in demand than ever. To keep up, organizations need a user-friendly content management system (CMS) that makes creating, managing and distributing audio content a breeze. By using an audio-ready CMS and following best practices, you can connect with your audience on a deeper level through the power of voice, making your content more accessible and engaging.

Audio content is here to stay — and it’s likely to only continue to grow in popularity as the 2020s continue to tick past us.

Audio has captivated audiences worldwide; and it has set off a reshaping of the digital landscape. The podcast industry is already a billion-dollar market, and video podcasting is currently experiencing a surge in popularity that is likely to drive continued growth for podcasts. It’s obvious why — audio content is easily accessible, portable and highly convenient.

Of course, this surge in popularity means more content producers working with audio behind the scenes — underscoring the need for a content management system (CMS) that can deftly handle the nuances of audio content.

The growth in popularity of audio content

Audio content has seen a significant surge in popularity in recent years. Podcasts alone have grown into a , and it’s estimated that more than 500 million people will listen to podcasts in 2024. Surprisingly, YouTube is taking over from Apple and Spotify as the leader when it comes to accessing podcasts — and that’s because of sudden explosive growth in .

Over-the-top (OTT) distribution for your audio and video content is now an integral part of the digital content experience, and publishers need a platform like Brightspot that considers OTT video and audio integration as part of the core publishing system.
4 Min Read

Podcasts aren’t the only audio content that’s being created. The rise of voice-activated devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google’s Home, has propelled the demand for audio content even further. And of course, books, which are considered the old standard, remain popular among users of Audible and Spotify.

This growth in audio content consumption is primarily driven by the convenience and multitasking capabilities that audio content offers — you can listen to a podcast while you commute or do chores. Hands-free content consumption is pretty hard to beat.

Users enjoy audio content and cleary like listening to — and connecting with — the voices and personalities behind the podcasts.

This growing popularity is a testament to the power of voice in delivering information and entertainment — and as technology evolves with these consumer preferences, organizations will need a content management system that helps them effortlessly supply users with audio content.

The role of CMS in audio content

Your content management system (CMS) enables users within your organization to create, manage, edit and publish all kinds of digital content. It might be articles, blog posts, landing pages, webinars, forms and — well, why not audio content?

You CMS can play a crucial role in managing and delivering audio experiences. Here’s how:

  • Content creation and management: Just as a CMS allows users to easily create and publish articles, the same is possible for audio content. Imagine robust, dedicated content types for audio, full shows or episodes, voice assistants, and so on.
  • Content distribution: Your CMS should be able to distribute audio content across multiple platforms and channels. This probably already includes your organization’s website and social media platforms; the CMS should also handle distribution to podcast directories and third-party providers like YouTube, Apple and Spotify.
  • Metadata management: Your CMS should allow you to granularly add and manage metadata on your audio content — things like titles, descriptions, tags, and categories, as well as length, episode and season attributes, and so on. This metadata will help users and search engines find and understand the content.
  • Analytics: A CMS should be able to track and analyze user engagement with audio content, including things like plays, downloads, shares, likes and time spent.

In essence, a CMS is a powerful tool that can help organizations leverage the power of voices by creating, managing and delivering compelling audio experiences.

Key CMS features for audio content publishers

If you’re just getting started with creating audio content, the well of possible technologies to leverage runs deep.

There are a number of CMSs that cater specifically to audio publishers, such as Buzzsprout, and lower-cost CMS options like WordPress and Squarespace offer solutions designed specifically for podcasters.

That said, let’s focus on the features that matter most to publishers, instead of the providers. Here’s what to look for:

  • Powerful editing tools: Look for a CMS that is built for all kinds of content publishing, and supports features like scheduling, drag-and-drop page building tools, in-context preview, customizable workflows and simple notifications.
  • SEO and metadata tools: You’ll want a CMS that supports built-in metadata attributes for titles and descriptions, so that search engines can easily find your content (whether audio or not). 
  • Pre-built content types: Many CMSs support pre-built, out-of-the-box templates for common audio content types, such as audio and podcast. In addition, you’ll want a system that allows you to customize this metadata, so you can make it accurately reflect your content. For example, if you’re creating audio content around cooking, you may want to include supplemental recipes with each episode — look for a system that will allow you to create other content types, or extend the audio content type — so you can reflect the “specialness” of your content.
  • Responsive, flexible front-end themes: Your CMS should offer a front-end visual presentation of audio content that is elegant and effortless for your users to consume. Those themes should also be responsive, ensuring that all content is consumable across a variety of devices.
  • Robust APIs: When it comes to audio content, distribution matters like no other. A CMS that offers robust and well-documented APIs will ensure that you can easily distribute the same content across multiple digital channels. Your audio content absolutely needs to get to where your audience is; at a minimum, that’s likely to be YouTube, Apple and Spotify.

Those are just a few of the top features to look for in a CMS if you plan to lean into audio content. Another burgeoning feature area to keep an eye on is artificial intelligence. AI features are just starting to show up in many CMSs — but they can have huge efficiency benefits for content teams. For example, AI can be leveraged to automatically write summaries of audio and to generate transcripts — saving someone hours of listening time.

Manage audio content in your CMS: Some tips

What are some best practices for using a CMS to manage audio content?

If your organization is ready to dip your toes into the audio pool, here are some best practices we recommend for podcast publishers.
  • Use a clear and consistent naming convention for your audio files and posts, which will make it easier to manage and locate your audio content (both for your editors and your audience).
  • Organize your audio content into categories and tags. This will also make it easier to find and filter for content — especially useful if you have a lot of audio content.
  • Use a logical hierarchy for your audio content, with main sections and subsections as necessary — think in terms of smallest nesting doll to largest... such as a clip, from a show, from a season, from a franchise, from a network and so on. Starting with the smallest nesting doll makes it easy to reuse the smaller assets in the future (such as taking a clip, and using it as part of a larger recap package).
  • Group related audio assets together. Where you can, cross link to connect related pages (for example, put all the audio from a single show, and a single season, on one page, with easy access to previous seasons). 
  • Plan for multiple usages of your audio content. For example, if you’re creating a YouTube video, perhaps the transcript might work well as a blog post. (Or maybe your latest e-book would be a smash hit if there was a narrator reading it?)
  • Integrate your CMS with popular audio platforms like YouTube, Apple and Spotify, which will help you reach a wider audience. Also, consider dipping your toes in the video podcasting waters by filming – not just recording – your audio content. Note that more is often more when it comes to podcast integrations — if you aren’t under any distribution agreements, try to meet your users wherever they are by integrating as many podcast delivery providers as possible. 
By following these best practices, you can effectively use a CMS to manage and deliver compelling audio experiences.

Leaning into audio experiences can expand your audience

The impact that audio content is having on today's digital landscape cannot be overstated. As the popularity of podcasts, video podcasting, and voice-activated devices continues to rise, the role of a content management system (CMS) in creating and managing these experiences becomes increasingly critical.

Your CMS should streamline the creation, management and distribution of audio content – making it effortless for your content teams (who probably already have a lot on their plates!) to add audio into their day-to-day production. The CMS should also enhance discovery of your audio content by connecting to third-party providers like YouTube and Spotify, as well as well-structured metadata for search engine discoverability.

By embracing audio content – and by adopting best practices and an audio-ready CMS – your organization can harness the power of voice to reach audiences in a way that deeply resonates.


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