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Inside Podcasting (Dec 7th, 2018)

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1. The Bello Collective has released its annual "Bello 100," a "celebration" of the best 100 podcasts of 2018. The list includes podcasts from independent producers as well as large production houses in five categories: conversation, kids, investigation, narrative nonfiction and fiction. The team at Bello has also selected one episode from each show for a Bello Collective Playlist which you can download here (one such episode, selected from the Heavyweight podcast, features this writer). Happy listening. -- BELLO COLLECTIVE

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2. Podcasts are now officially available on Pandora, according to a blog post from the company. The new offering includes hundreds of shows and over 100,000 easily searchable episodes. Pandora's Podcast Genome Project, which the company announced earlier this year, will also help users discover new podcasts (and new episodes) based on their interests. To have your podcast added, complete this form for consideration. -- THE VERGE

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How is AI changing the way professionals work across industries? Find out from WIRED and Watson experts at the AI & Future Of Work Virtual Summit

Join this digital event to hear how AI is increasing productivity and allowing workers to focus on higher value tasks. Learn how you can harness AI to help your teams recognize opportunities you may not even know to look for! Register for the AI & Future of Work Virtual Summit today!

3. Caroline Crampton, who writes for Hot Pod and hosts Shedunnit, has published her list of favorites for the year. One intriguing title is Radio Atlas, which Crampton says is a "fascinating way of listening to beautiful audio documentaries in other languages – with subtitles." The podcast, which combines compelling foreign audio stories with simple English subtitles in video format, won best radio documentary at the Prix Italia and Prix Europa this year. -- NEW STATESMAN

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4. Eater and Vox have both created podcast playlists for the holidays. Our pick from Vox's list is an episode of Today, Explainedin which radio reporter Stephanie Foo explains why watching Crazy Rich Asians felt "validating." Eater's collection features another fave of ours: Eater Upsell's "Things That Die in Restaurants (Eels, Relationships, Plants)." Enough said about that. -- VOX and EATER

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5. In case you missed it, Jana Kramer, an actress and country music singer, delivered her baby on a live podcast this week. Said Kramer, "My husband and I have always been an open book, so why not open the door to our delivery room?”

6. Allure Magazine launched a podcast yesterday which covers "all things beauty....from self-acceptance and self-care, to the latest in beauty innovations and obsessions." Actress Awkwafina, who starred in Crazy Rich Asians, guests on the show's inaugural episode.

7. In a roundtable piece for RAIN News, Steve Goldstein and six "industry pros" analyze why only 1% of podcast audiences are listening to shows via the Google podcast app. The group says the offering has been plagued by underwhelming promotion and placement on Android phones and the fact that the app itself is still bare-bones, six months after launch.

8. How old is your podcast? Dan Misener crunched the numbers and found that the median age of all podcasts available (as of late 2018) is about 6 months.

9. Acast, a podcast advertising platform, revealed that it's raised $35 million from investors, bringing the company's total funding up to $67 million. The Swedish company says it intends to use the capital to "expand into new and non-English speaking markets and develop technology to help publishers monetize their content on smart speakers."

10. Jeffrey Cranor, co-creator of Welcome to Nightvale, shares his holiday plans.  

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This newsletter was written and curated by podcast junkie and recovered publicist, Skye Pillsbury. Over the years, Skye has crafted digital media strategies for brands like Yahoo! and Microsoft and worked regularly with media outlets such as the New York Times, Rolling Stone and NPR. Skye was famous for 49 minutes when she and her son were featured in an episode of Gimlet Media’s Heavyweight podcast. Follow her on Twitter @SkyePillsbury.

Editing team: Lon Harris (editor-in-chief at Inside.com, game-master at Screen Junkies), Krystle Vermes (breaking news editor at Inside, B2B marketing news reporter, host of the "All Day Paranormal" podcast), and Susmita Baral (editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

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"Caliphate," from the New York Times, follows reporter Rukmini Callimachi as she investigates ISIS and learns about life inside the terrorist group.

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