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Sowt announces Zamakan, an independent MENA podcast network
Sowt Podcasts is excited to announce our new project, the Zamakan Podcast Network. Zamakan is a curated network of independent podcasts from the MENA region that will also provide revenue opportunities for producers. The project, launched by Sowt Podcasts, has received funding from the Google News Initiative, under its Innovation Challenge fund.
Zamakan زمكان, which is the Arabic word for ‘spacetime’, will be a curated network of high-quality podcasts from independent producers across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It aims to promote podcast discoverability and monetization by helping audiences in the region discover great audio content and podcast producers access revenue opportunities. Zamakan will provide production services, hosting, outreach and publishing, ad sales, and live events for network members.
Podcasting is a growing industry worldwide, but independent podcasters still face two main problems: finding audiences and generating revenue. The Zamakan network is an exciting opportunity for audiences to discover new content and for podcast producers to generate revenue to support their hard work. Zamakan will help podcasts find a steadier source of funding and cross promote their shows, while allowing individual podcasts to maintain their individuality. While Zamakan will be operated by Sowt, the network will have its own website and social media.
The Google News Initiative (GNI) supports journalism in the digital age around the world by funding innovation in the industry. GNI Innovation Challenge team said: “We're delighted to see this successful application to the very first Middle East, Turkey and Africa Innovation Challenge and look forward to seeing the project come to life."
The Google News Initiative (GNI) supports journalism in the digital age around the world by funding innovation in the industry. Google has allocated $30 million over the next two years to supporting journalism in five distinct regions of the world. This year, GNI’s Innovation Challenges awarded grants to 108 projects that generate revenue and/or increase audience engagement for news organizations. Sowt is proud to be one of 21 organizations in the Middle East, Turkey & Africa region that received funding from the project.
With support from Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge, we’re excited to work on Zamakan and help grow podcasting in the MENA region. We’re already working on launching Zamakan, and aim to have great new podcasts and a live launch party to share soon.