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Inside Podcasting (Jan 9th, 2018)

Jenny Wall, former senior VP and head of marketing at Hulu, has now joined Gimlet to serve as the startup’s first chief marketing officer. Wall told the Hollywood Reporter she believes Gimlet has the potential to become “the HBO of audio.” At Gimlet, part of her job will be to market film and television projects that the company is adapting for audio. "I've been on the other side of the business," she said. "I'm hoping I can bring some experience there that's helpful." – THR

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The children’s podcast niche is booming, according to the Financial Times. Gimlet co-founder and President Matt Lieber tells FT that as the podcast industry matures, the children's niche is one with untapped potential. Over the past year, there have been a number of kid-friendly podcasts launched by U.S. radio stations, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. “The most popular content we see is storytelling, not educational,” says Ruth Fitzsimons of AudioBoom. “You want your kids to be engaged mentally with words and concepts. Audio is really stimulating.” – FT

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A new podcast has launched on the topic of viruses. “This Week in Virology,” hosted by Columbia University professor Vincent Racaniello, spends each episode talking about the latest in big-name viruses, ranging from influenza to Zika.. The goal is to shed light on the ever-expanding field of virus research, as well as the difficult questions scientists are constantly working to answer. Racaniello often has researchers and thought leaders from the field on the podcast to enhance discussions. “The show can get technical, but if you’re into viruses — or into learning how scientists approach the mysteries of their field — it’s a must-listen,” says Erin Blakemore, for the Washington Post. – WAPO

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Glenn McDonald for The News and Observer has compiled a list of the top five podcasts listeners need to “geek out” on right now. The shows that made the list are the New York Times’ “The Daily,” “S-Town,” “Love and Radio,” “Revisionist History,” and “Your Current Obsession.” McDonald notes that “Your Current Obsession” isn’t an actual podcast, but rather a placeholder on his list for whatever podcast you seek out that quenches your thirst for addicting audio content. “Possibly the single most appealing element of the podcast format is that you can find a program on anything,” writes McDonald. “No matter how obscure your particular obsession – horror stories from the 1930s, say – you can likely find a podcast on the subject.” – OBSERVER

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Jaime Fuller for Politico questions how long the Trump podcast fad will last. In a piece for the online publication, Fuller takes a look at some of the most successful Trump-oriented podcasts and what makes them attractive to listeners. As it turns out, even a podcast with a robot host can make anything related to Trump seem undeniably interesting. “Although these podcasts try to occupy a different niche, their definitions of success in this crowded sphere look similar,” Fuller writes. – POLITICO

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Wondery has launched a new history podcast called “American History Tellers.” Host Lindsay Graham (unrelated to the senator) takes listeners on a journey through American history, detailing subjects ranging from the Cold War to the Gold Rush. “We’ll take you to the events, the times and the people that shaped our nation,” the podcast’s website states. “And we’ll show you how our history affected them, their families and affects you today.” The first three episodes are now available for download on Apple Podcasts. – USAT

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