Disentangling the Effects of Paralinguistic Cues in Bolstering Listeners’ Engagement with Podcasters

Xiaohui Liu, Fei Liu, Yijing Li, Eric Lim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Despite fierce competition among podcasters, there is a dearth of research that has sought to elucidate the role of paralinguistic elements in fostering listeners’ engagement with podcasters on audio platforms. Building on voice persuasion theory, we not only posit prosodic cues (i.e., speech rate, speech pause, and speech stress) as factors affecting listeners’ engagement, but we further postulate pitch, a habitual property of podcasters’ voice, as having a moderating influence on the effects of the abovementioned prosodic cues. To empirically validate our hypotheses, we employ deep learning to extract the four paralinguistic cues from 10,000 audio files in 221 educational albums obtained from a leading audio platform in China. While analytical results confirm speech pause and speech stress as antecedents of speech rate and that lower speech rate is effective in bolstering listeners’ engagement, pitch is revealed to exert no moderating influence on relationship between speech rate and engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 41st International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS)
EditorsJoey George, Souren Paul, Rahul De', Elena Karahanna, Suprateek Sarker, Gal Oestreicher-Singer
Number of pages9
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication date2020
Article number2498
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventThe 41st International Conference on Information Systems: ICIS 2020: ICIS 2020 – Making Digital Inclusive: Blending the Local and the Global - Virtual
Duration: 13 Dec 202016 Dec 2020
Conference number: 41


ConferenceThe 41st International Conference on Information Systems: ICIS 2020
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems


  • Audio platform
  • Paralinguistic cue
  • Prosodic feature
  • Pitch

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