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Inside Podcasting (Mar 7th, 2018)

Gimlet has launched a branded children’s podcast specifically for Amazon Alexa.Chompers,” a “twice-daily tooth brushing show” sponsored by Crest Kids and Oral B, is available as an Alexa skill. Gimlet president Matt Lieber said his company is targeting voice-activated smart devices as an avenue to publish more revenue-generating, story-driven branded content. Advertisers believe those types of shows are more effective at engaging potential customers than traditional ads, he told Fast Company. Gimlet publishes a Mastercard-sponsored series about the future of money, while Midroll has produced three branded series for Ziprecruiter.  - WSJ

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A new podcast discovery app relies on artificial intelligence to match listeners with shows. Podible came out of beta on March 1; the app’s machine learning algorithm recommends similar podcasts based on users’ listening histories, subscriptions and saved episodes. Borrowing a turn of phrase from Pandora, Podible’s creators say they’re building a “Podcast Genome,” or a massive database that will find commonalities between shows. “The more a listener uses Podible, the more data we have and the better the recommendations we can provide,” said CTO Peter Birsinger. - FAST COMPANY

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Text-to-speech platform VoxSnap is positioning itself as a solution for instant podcasts. VoxSnap users can peruse its network of professional voice actors to find someone to narrate reports, blogs or any other written content. The audio can then be distributed through Amazon Alexa and other platforms, but many corporate bloggers, in particular, are relying on VoxSnap to convert text into podcasts, said CEO Helena Ronis. “They create a lot of text content, [and] it’s basically sitting there collecting dust.” - MARTECH TODAY

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Techmeme has launched a daily podcast specifically to cover tech news. Published every weekday at 5 p.m. ET, “The Techmeme Ride Home” will essentially be an audio version of the aggregation site, with host Brian McCullough recapping top stories in 15-minute episodes. It’s the latest in a flurry of recently launched daily news podcasts, a phenomenon that Felix Salmon, writing for WIRED, credits to publishers’ search for a revenue-driving format. A daily show’s predictable listener base “can bring in much more money from sponsors, week in and week out,” he wrote. - RECODE

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A Florida teacher who was removed from classroom duties for hosting a white nationalist podcast says the show was satire. Dayanna Volitich secretly hosted “Unapologetic” under the pseudonym “Tiana Dalichov” while also teaching middle school social studies in Crystal River, Florida. The school district said it was first notified of the show by a HuffPost reporter last Friday, and that it has opened an investigation. In a statement released by her attorney, Volitich denied being a white nationalist and said the content of the show - which reportedly included anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic views - was meant to be satirical and exaggerated. On the show, “Dalichov” also bragged about incorporating her ideology into lessons with her students. - HUFFPOST

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New and upcoming podcasts include offerings from CNN and Gen-Z Media. PRX announced three new kids' podcasts produced from new partner Gen-Z Media: “Pants on Fire,” a game show, “The Mayan Crystal,” an adventure story, and “Six Minutes,” a mystery show. On March 18, CNN will launch “Unmasking A Killer,” a new podcast based on the HLN true crime series of the same name. A new show explores the role that Harry Anslinger, former commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, played in marijuana prohibition in the U.S. And a Ph.D. student from the University of California has published a fictional podcast with storylines and characters that are entirely created by artificial intelligence.

What new podcasts are you listening to? Hit reply and let us know.

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