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Business case studies No 321 - 27.11.2020

barba radio – bringing together podcast, online radio, music streaming and Alexa skills

In this week’s egtabite, we showcase a successful German audio project centred around a popular celebrity that combines a podcast, online radio, music channels, an Alexa skill and a FM show all coming together in a comprehensive cross-platform audio strategy. This project shows how radio stations can create original online audio projects that further strengthen their FM content and bring in new listeners across all platforms.

barba radio – a four pillar audio strategy

The German radio company Regiocast partnered with Barbara Schöneberger, the German actress, singer, and TV presenter, who also has her own women’s magazine Barbara. She is a well-known celebrity, especially popular amongst women. Together they built a strategy consisting of four audio projects that perfectly complement each other.

First was the online-only 24/7 personality radio station featuring Barbara as a host, launched in 2018. It is a mix of music and spoken content similar to a classic female-focused radio station with interviews, guests, tips and music allowing listeners to spend the whole day with their favourite personality.

Second were the online musical channels curated by Barbara for different occasions and named accordingly - Girls night, Dinner Party, Cleaning Frenzy or I hate sports for example. Online music streaming is very popular, especially among younger audiences under 35. Since Barbara’s fans are mostly over 30, the idea was to bring the concept of music channels for every occasion to those potential listeners, who might not yet be hooked on Spotify.

The third part of the strategy was a podcast called „Mit den Waffelneiner Frau“/„With the waffles of a woman“. The title is a play on words - in German waffles = „Waffel“ which sounds very similar to weapon = „Waffen“. In the podcast Barbara invites A-list celebrities to chat and eat waffles. The podcast became very popular and successful.

The fourth part is a weekend show for FM radio stations. It is based on the content recorded for the podcast but edited with new voice-overs and introductions from Barbara that are more suited to a  classical DJ radio style rather than the laid-back style of a podcast.

Customising content

Regiocast has only about 3-4 hours a week to record all the content with Barbara, they therefore record the “content master” which is then adapted to all the various formats mentioned above. They use different types of editing depending on whether it’s aimed for the podcast, FM show or the online radio station. Each edition also has some exclusive parts making it even more relevant for the specific format.

Bringing together digital and FM

Combining Barbara’s popularity as a national TV celebrity with radio’s massive reach creates a connection to a large group of listeners that can then be brought to the digital audio content that barba radio offers. All the digital stations and podcasts are integrated into the apps and websites of the stations making it easy to discover. All of the online content is also made available on a dedicated website and within a dedicated barba radio app. The digital content serves as an effective extension for listeners, offering them more reasons to spend time with digital audio throughout the week.

This kind of cross-platform offer also allows for cross selling and special packages and brings in new advertisers for normally less attractive weekend FM slots. Regiocast also licences the content to stations outside their network and thus generates additional direct revenue. Some regional stations managed to sign annual deals with advertisers for the FM show within two hours of signing the contract with Regiocast, which only proves the popularity of the content. For the online extension Regiocasts sells online audio advertising nationally.

Latest addition – Alexa skills

Amazon premiered the format of a celebrity responding to user’s command "tell me a joke," when they signed up US talk show host Jimmy Fallon for a month. Alexa would then introduce her "friend Jimmy" who would tell the jokes to users. In a new German version, Amazon exclusively partnered with barba radio and Barbara Schöneberger, who will be telling jokes to  German Alexa users. This also ties in with two other skills. One for her online radio station and one for the podcast which offers better user experience for podcast listening on a smart speaker.


The FM show is broadcast in ten German markets and reaches about 2 million people on a weekend, the podcast is in the top 20 of the most popular podcasts in Germany according to Apple and in the top 40 on Spotify. About 40% of podcast consumption comes from Regiocasts’s own ecosystem (own app, websites, Alexa etc.).





» barba radio website (click here)

» Regiocast website (click here)


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