Glossary of Digital & Short Form Audio Terms


AirPods are wireless Bluetooth headphones designed by Apple Inc. They were initially announced on September 7, 2016, alongside the iPhone 7.  As of 2022, it is estimated that more than 70% of US teens own AirPods.

Audience Engagement

The state where a targeted audience reacts to an initiative from someone who wishes to engage with them in ways that further the engager's immediate or strategic goals. For instance, a digital marketer who publishes a video that is liked and tweeted by a large number of the targeted audience has successfully engaged their audience. Another digital marketer who succeeds in having customers provide feedback about a product or a service that was just launched has also succeeded in engaging their audience.

Audio Marketing

Audio marketing is a set of activities that engage customers through audio, such as jingles, audio logos, and audio ads.

Audio NFTs

Audio NFTs are NFTs whos content is primarily audio based.  More on Audio NFTs here.

Audio Testimonial

An audio testimonial is a short audio clip from a satisfied customer or a happy partner who expresses their satisfaction with you and your products and services by just speaking.

Audio Transcription

The textual transciption of spoken audio into text.

Augmented Reality (AR)

"Augmented reality (AR) is an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli and delivered via technology. It is a growing trend among companies involved in mobile computing and business applications in particular."  For more go here.


A briefcast, also known as "microcast" or a "flash briefing" is a podcast whose episodes are short in duration (usually 1 to 5 minutes long) and are published more frequently than the average podcast (2 or 3 times a week, sometimes even daily).


"Clubhouse is a social audio app for iOS and Android where users can communicate in audio chat rooms that accommodate groups of thousands of people. Clubhouse led to the emergence of a new social media segment known as social audio or drop-in audio." For more, go here.

Digital Audio

In our context, we are using the term "Digital Audio" to refer to audio delivered on smartphone as podcasts, microcasts, radio and music, as well as audio delivered via smart speakers and earbuds/AirPods, voice assistants, audio delivered on Social Audio platforms such as Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, and audio embedded in web pages, whether recorded audio or audio generated by Text to Speech software.


Earbuds are a pair of tiny speakers that one wears wear inside their ears to listen to audio. AirPods are earbuds that are sold by Apple.


First Orality

First Orality, also referred to as Primary Orality, refers to spoken expressions that are not based on anything written: for instance, when two people are speaking with each other without any rehearsal, we can say that the speakers are engaged in First or Primary Orality.  A newscaster reading the news, on the other hand, is engaged with is called Secondary Orality -- that is, their spoken expressions are based on written text.


"IRL" is short for "In Real Life" as opposed to virtually.  Meeting IRL is meeting physically rathan tha, say, via Zoom.


"IVA" stands for Interactive Voice Assistant.  Examples are Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, Siri, as well as telephony based voice assistants (IVRs).


"IVR" stands for Interactive Voice Response."  See IVA.


A microcast is a short form podcast whose episodes are 1 to 5 minutes long and where those episodes are published several times a week (often daily).


MP3 is a coding format for digital audio developed largely by the Fraunhofer Society in Germany, with support from other digital scientists in the United States and elsewhere. For more, go here.


In the context of Didital Audio, a multicast is a podcast composed almost entirely of short contributions, 1-3 minutes long, from several contributors, speaking one after the other.  For more, go here.


Multitasking is the concept that one can give attention to more than one task oat the same time.  For instance, preparing food while talking on the phone. For more, go here.


A podcast is a program, usually available in digital audio format, but at times as video as well, that pus published and made available for download or for listening to or viewing over the Internet. For more, go here.

Podcast Platform

A podcast platform is an online hosting service that stores the audio media files and other information that a podcast uses and enables users of the platform to discover and listen to the podcast. Examples of platforms include Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Spotify, and Pandora.

Screen Fatigue

Screen fatigue is a state of physical and/or mental distress that is caused by excessive viewing of a screen, usually on a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone.  Users often turn to digital audio as a way to continue consuming information or enjoying entertainment without having to look at a screen.

Screen Off

"Screen off" refers to a state where the user is not able, or does not wish to use a screen to obtain or provide information or other content.  "Screen off" situations include driving, preparing food, mowing the lawn, walking the dog, and other instances where it would be inconvenient, distracting or dangerous for a person to be looking at a screen.  Digital audio is often a good alternative for consuming and providing information or content.

Second Orality

In contrast to "Primary Orality" or "First Orality," where the speech spoken by a human is spontaneous and not based on something written or memorized from something written, Second Orality is speech that is spoken by someone who is reading from written text: for instance, when someone giving a speech or someone reading the news.

Shortform Audio

Shortform audio refers to audio that is about between 1 and 5 minutes long.  Examples of such audio are audio that accompany artices, or audio that is published as a "Flash Briefing" on the Amazon Echo or the Google Assistant platforms.

Social Audio

"Social audio is a subclass of social media that designates social media platforms that use audio as their primary channel of communication. This can include text messages, podcasts, tools for recording and editing audio in addition to virtual audio rooms." For more, go here.

Sonic Seasoning

"The term 'sonic seasoning' refers to the deliberate matching, or pairing, of sound/music with taste/flavour in order to enhance, or modify, the multisensory tasting experience.  For more, go here.

The Gutenberg Parenthesis

The Gutenberg Parenthesis is the proposition that the last 500 years or so — the time between the invention of typeset printing, which ushered the era of the written word as the main mode of communicating knowledge, and the recent arrival of distributed social media — is a short parenthesis in a history of human communication that has relied on informal and decentralized communication, in oral form prior to Gutenberg, and currently via social media and orally.

Twitter Spaces

Twitter Spaces is a platform on the Twitter platform that enables Twitter users to hold, record, and publish audio only interactions.

Voice Feedback

Voice Feedback is feedback that is provided by an audience (customers, fans, members, employees) to questions by using their voice only.

Voice Marketing

"Voice marketing is a set of tactics and strategies designed for reaching audiences who are using voice devices." For more, go here.

Voice Search

"Voice search... allows the user to use a voice command to search the Internet, a website, or an app. In a broader definition, voice search includes open-domain keyword query on any information on the Internet, for example in Google Voice Search, Cortana, Siri and Amazon Echo." Go here.

Voice UX

Voice UX is short for Voice User Experience, and refers to the experience of someone engaged in an interaction with a Voice User Interface, such as a telephony based IVR/IVA, Siri, Amazon Echo, or Google Assistant.


A voicebot is a conversational artificial intelligence that engages users by listening to human speech or providing human-sounding speech and other sounds.


A Voicegram is a Witlingo trademarked term that refers to a short form audio created by someone in response to a call for audio content.


Voicemail is a recorded voice or audio message left by someone on someone's voicemail system (usually in the context of wishing that someone via the phone).


"VUI" stands for Voice User Interface, and is the voice or audio equivalent of "GUI," Graphical User Interface.  A VUI enables humans to interact with devices (smartphone, tablets, laptops, smart speakers) by just speaking naturally and listening to voice and audio played back to the user. For more, go here

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