Audiogram Generator

Status: active
How can the BBC share its radio content more effectively on social media?

The BBC creates a lot of compelling audio content, but sharing that content on social media is difficult. The main social media platforms prevent the upload of audio files and prioritises native content over links to external sites. In general, audio can’t be easily embedded or attached to shareable visual content.

In order to combat this problem, the public service broadcaster WNYC in New York created the Audiogram Generator and released it as an open-source tool. It allows journalists to select sound bites from an audio file and export them as MP4 video files, which can then be shared on Facebook and Twitter. It overlays a background theme with a waveform animation of the audio clip, which then fluxuates along with the sound bite. This acts as a hint to users scrolling through autoplaying video that there is something to listen to.

A demo of an audiogram generated by WNYC.

The version that New York Public Radio developed lets journalists choose from different predefined themes as a background and add text as a caption. We’re working to modify the tool so that the social media teams working for our radio programmes can select their own images as a backdrop, allowing for more customised design on a story-by-story basis. We’re planning to pilot the tool with our World Service team first and carefully watch how the clips perform.

Next Priorities

  1. Build a working prototype that allows journalists to add their own images to the audiogram cards.
  2. Explore whether the Audiogram Generator can be integrated with our automated transcription tool for easier selection of clips.