Our Purpose is to Tell Great Stories.
Updated: Nov 23, 2021
“Starting an agency is a big risk,” people say. “Aren’t you worried about it failing? Are you sure you’re ready for this big leap?”
In moments of risk and adversity, two things ground me and give me confidence in what lies ahead: passion and purpose.
I come from a family of storytellers. My mother was an English teacher. My brother is a screenwriter and director. I remember the time I spent at my grandparents’ house across town, listening to them tell stories of growing up in Pennsylvania’s Coal Region during the Great Depression, of living their American Dream, of the joys and hardships they enjoyed throughout their lives. Every moment was an education in the power of authentic human stories and how to tell them well.
As I’ve grown up, moved to a different part of the country, and started building a life of my own, that education has continued through new and different experiences, meeting people from other backgrounds and cultures, living through both joys and hardships. One through-line that I’ve seen through it all is that everyone has a story to tell and that stories are power.
The opportunity to use that lifelong education to help others tell their stories – authentic stories, powerful stories – to leverage my passion to create a better world is an invaluable gift. It would be a disservice to all those whose hands have helped shape that passion if I shied away for fear of failure.
That’s the purpose we’re pursuing by launching Ambedo Audio: we want to help tell great stories that have an impact, that are creative and human and that need to be told, that help us connect to one another.
The word Ambedo comes from John Koenig’s, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, created “to fill a hole in the language – to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for.”
It defines Ambedo as “a kind of melancholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details – raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee – which leads to a dawning awareness of the haunting fragility of life.”
Even in its relative youth, podcasting has showcased audio’s power to connect, inform, and promote.
That power is ingrained in who we are as human beings, because it’s fundamentally human to listen. We’ve inherited it from generation to generation stretching back to the beginning of language: cavemen sharing survival lessons around a campfire; a troubadour telling of great love and loss to a royal court in the Middle Ages; terrified children hearing the story of Hansel and Gretel; a grandmother recalling to her grandchildren the small town grocery store her family ran when she was their age; a friend talking about the project he’s excited about at work – they all hold that same power.
Along with the myriad ways the digital universe has allowed us to connect with people all around the world, podcasting provides an opportunity to leverage that power of audio to share stories with more people in a more compelling and engaging way.
Podcasts have seen a boom in popularity in recent years. In 2006, 11 percent of Americans age 12 and older had ever listened to a podcast. In 2019, that number rose to 51 percent – approximately 144 million Americans. And more and more people are incorporating podcasts into their routines and continue to turn to them to stay up-to-date with the news, to be entertained, and to learn. More than 90 million listen to a podcast every month, and 62 million listen every week.
Research shows that 93 percent of these dedicated listeners consume most or all of the podcast episodes they listen to, even if the episode is over an hour long. Through what other channel can you have that much time to share your story with a captive audience?
But it’s not enough to just check the box that says “produce a podcast.” If your podcast sounds formulaic or sounds like you recorded in a tin can, or doesn’t capture the listener’s attention in the first minute or two, they’re off to something else, never to return. There, too, goes all the time, effort, and resources that were invested into the podcast.
To maximize the return on the investment in a podcast, three things need to be front-and-center at every step of the process:
Who is our target audience?
What are our key messages?
What are our objectives?
At Ambedo Audio, we don’t just apply a formulaic approach to our work. We think boldly and don’t hold back on bringing the most creative ideas to our projects. Building on a strong creative strategy developed in partnership with our clients, our team produces podcasts that tell our clients’ stories in a compelling and engaging way and stand out for the high production quality we bring to every project.
As Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, the founders of Basecamp, said, “If you’re going to do something, do something that matters.”
We want our work to matter. We want to tell stories that are powerful, that are important, that have an impact.
We’re more than just a podcast production studio that’s passionate about stories. We think about audio differently. We partner with our clients to produce high-quality and creative podcasts that are pillar content for a full digital campaign that repackages and shares the podcast across all of a brand’s channels to achieve their business and communications objectives. We bring quality, value, and creativity to every project because we believe that audio’s power to connect, inform, and promote is valuable for all brands.
We also want to do business in a different way than agencies traditionally have in the past. Rather than using the billable hours model, which is agency-centric, inefficient, and doesn’t produce the best results, our value-based pricing model allows us to focus on what really matters: consistently producing the highest quality, most creative content and effectively leveraging it across a brand’s channels to help it grow. We believe that you should only pay for the final product and the value it drives back to you, rather than the amount of time it took to create it.
We’re a hybrid agency that’s built to be nimble and tell an engaging story and drive results no matter the messages, audience, or objectives. We don’t just bump short-term spikes; we commit to working with our clients over the long term to capitalize on the full potential of the podcasts we produce with them. We’re committed to stay at the forefront of the podcast industry and drive innovation, because we all benefit from a strong podcast ecosystem and all have a role to play in shaping it, and we’re excited about that responsibility.
We feel grounded and confident about taking this big leap in launching Ambedo Audio, and we are excited and humbled by this opportunity to leverage a lifelong education in storytelling and a belief in the power of audio to make a difference.
We want to leverage our passion to achieve our purpose: to tell powerful stories and help our clients grow. Because we believe that listening can change the world.
Originally published on Ambedo Audio's blog on March 6, 2020.