🔴 Meet: Lucia Scazzocchio of XMTR, and say goodbye to Audio Currents


Written and curated by Shreya Sharma

Hello there! As we gather for this Friday’s issue, I have an important announcement to share. Audio Currents will be taking a pause for the time being. It has been an incredible journey, albeit a short one.

As we’ve continued to roll out and build the Recordical® community, it’s become clear that Audio Currents feels more like the status quo than a new modus operandi. In that spirit, we’ll be sharing news from across audio in a more bite sized and engaging way on our social platforms, allowing us to stay fresh and flexible. Stay connected with Recordical on our social media channels, including TikTok and Instagram, where we’ll be sharing updates and staying engaged.

For other newsletter fiends like me, here’s but a few that I highly recommend to fill the Audio Currents-sized hole in your inbox — Podnews, The Download, BlkPodnews, and The Publish Press.

Thank you for being a part of this journey with Audio Currents. Your support means the world to me, and I’m excited to see where our paths will cross again in the future. You can follow me on Substack for audio adventures of my own.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

🎙️Meet: Lucia Scazzocchio, creator of XMTR.fm

Lucia Scazzocchio is the Director of and a Producer at Social Broadcasts, an audio retelling network. Lucia also founded XMTR, a sonic storytelling platform that curates independent works from audio with the aim to preserve and amplify them.

I chatted with Lucia about her journey in audio, the motivation behind XMTR, and audio storytelling as a multi-dimensional art form.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

a woman looking out of a window at a building

Shreya Sharma (SS): Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey in audio.

Lucia Scazzocchio (LS): I’m based in the UK and I run a very small production company called Social Broadcasts. I make audio works myself; from radio programs and podcasts to audio tours and installations. Pretty much anything connected with sound. I’ve been creating communities and also creating collaborative work. I’ve been doing that for eight or so years now, although I’ve worked in radio and audio for almost 30 years. A couple of years ago, I started XMTR. So it’s actually, it’s spelled XMTR, but it’s pronounced transmitter.

SS: What motivated you to create a platform that bridges the gap between emerging audio creators and hidden gems of audio storytelling? 

LS: As an independent audio producer, often working with small organizations, art institutions, and museums, I realized that the work that I was doing, would take an enormous amount of work and energy, and I’d collaborate with lots of people and a lot would go in, would often just get lost. People put it on their website and then they might do a little bit of social media around it. However, once the project was over, that audio would just be lost in the ether. That’s when I realized that there are quite a lot of audio producers like me who don’t have massive budgets for marketing and PR and don’t necessarily work for big companies who are making interesting work. Unfortunately, other than putting it onto SoundCloud, no one really knows about it. So, I created XMTR as a kind of curated platform for independent producers like myself to showcase their work. Additionally, it’s an archive platform. I select works from the past as well that might have otherwise been forgotten.

SS: Could you share some key obstacles you encounter in creating this curated sonic storytelling platform?

LS: The curation takes a long time and I’m always searching to find things but I also invite people to submit work and recommendations. However, the word is yet to get out that people can submit. So far, I’ve posted everything that people have submitted. There is a selection process, but I think that it’s self-selective. People realize the kind of things that would work on the platform. I will then do my best to put them on the platform as quickly as possible. It’s just me and it’s a passion project so there’s no money involved. I think those are the challenges – time because it’s just me doing everything and getting the word out there as much as possible.

SS: How do you envision this eclectic selection of audio storytelling contributing to the broader landscape of audio content beyond the realm of traditional podcasts?

LS: People aren’t just turning on the radio and listening to whatever’s on. These days, we’re all about selecting according to our tastes and what people have recommended to us. So we miss lots of things. There’s no element of serendipity. So the main idea behind XMTR is this surprise element where you can discover things. You can have it on in the background as you would, a Spotify playlist or your radio.

SS: Do you believe that audio storytelling has the potential to become a multidimensional art form, engaging audiences through diverse experiences beyond the traditional podcast format?

LS: I think audio storytelling can take many different forms. Obviously, people who have discovered it through podcasting might just think that that’s the only way to do it. But, there are many other ways! I’m always interested and intrigued by live radio and audio performances. Also, there are audio installations in galleries or even in public spaces.  Plus, you don’t always have to listen to something on your own, in your headphones. I think there’s something to be said for public listening, so listening in a group. There’s something quite nice about sitting with a group of people and listening to things as well. Ergo, there’s no one way to listen to things.

Thank you, Lucia! XMTR is always open to pitches for your show. Share your audio here

📢 New Releases

New podcast releases for you to dive into, this weekend: 

  • Podcast: Ad Lucem is a new fiction podcast from QCODE. The nine-episode sci-fi show follows the tale of CARA or Corporeal Augmented Reality Assistant, and the ethicalities of human connections that blur “the lines between technology and reality”.

  • PodcastPodcast Perspectives is a new podcast from The Podglomerate network. Hosted by the network’s founder and CEO Jess Umbro, the show platforms leaders in the podcast space. The podcast will cover current events as well as general podcasting topics.

  • PodcastThe Banksy Story is a new podcast from BBC Radio 4. The series details the story of Banksy, the yet unidentified England-based artist and activist, “from secretive street artist to international icon.”

🌊 Making Waves

Quick hits from the audio world:

  • Spotify is integrating with Patreon to allow patrons of podcasts to access exclusive content on the Spotify app.

  • Acast launched AdCollab, a tool to allow podcast hosts and potential advertisers to collaborate in real-time on host-read sponsorships.

  • On the Podcast Bestie, Courtney Kocak discusses ‘The art of the podcast trailer’ with Arielle Nissenblatt.

  • Spotify’s AI-powered DJ is being rolled out across more countries while Apple Music has added a new feature called a Discovery Station.

  • Podcast analytics platform CoHost launched Advanced Audience Demographics, a feature to offer detailed insights on listener analytics like age, gender, and household income.

  • YouTube will be banning clickable links from YouTube Shorts descriptions and comments with the goal of reducing spam.