Following the success of its science fiction podcast series, The Message, released last year, General Electric’s next installment of GE Podcast Theater, LifeAfter is set to air November 13.
The 10-episode sci-fi audio thriller follows widower Ross Barnes on his attempted journey to reconnect with his late wife through voice recordings she left behind on an all-audio social media platform, VoiceTree.
— Andy Bowers (@andybowers) November 4, 2016
Created in partnership with BBDO, Giant Spoon and Panoply, the artificial intelligence adventure invites listeners to query what happens to our digital identities after we pass and how AI might help in the grieving process.
After last year’s release of The Message, Goldberg told brandchannel, “It’s science fiction meets real science.” He credits NPR’s Serial as the inspiration. “It flipped a switch for us that podcasting was no longer going to be informational pieces but could be entertainment,” said Goldberg.
brandchannel spoke with Andy Goldberg, GE’s Chief Creative Officer, about the next chapter in the ongoing series.
bc: What was the the inspiration behind the plot for LifeAfter?
Andy Goldberg: It is inspired by both GE’s digital twin technology and the curiosity we all have with what happens to our digital self that can live well beyond our regular lives.
bc: You say the podcast addresses our digital identities after we pass, and what role AI can play in the grieving process. Are these things GE is working on deducing? If so, what can you tell us about it all?
Goldberg: We are working on digital twins, which create a digital version of a real machine and allow us to understand performance and efficiency.
bc: What lessons learned from last year’s The Message are being brought to bear this year with LifeAfter?
Goldberg: We learned how people engage with this type of programming and how distribution can be effective in growing and maintain an audience in the podcast space
bc: What changes have you seen in audience appetite for podcasts? And to what do you attribute the growing interest?
Goldberg: The audiences are growing in what I believe to be the appetite for more in-depth storytelling. The ability to allow the listener to paint their own picture of the events that are happening and be taken into a work that is just audio plays into formats that let the imagination run deep.
bc: What ROI do podcasts deliver to GE overall?
Goldberg: We are growing audiences to allow people to understand what a digital industrial company is and how it can be impactful in peoples’ lives. The podcast allows us to attract new audiences to be interested in GE by finding new ways into the company.