Inside Podcasting - March 7th, 2019 |

Inside Podcasting (Mar 7th, 2019)

Julie Snyder's new gig / Lauren Shippen talks Luminary / Pods cross the midline

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1. Over half of the 12+ U.S. population "who have ever listened to a podcast" surpassed 50% for the first time and 32% of Americans now listen to podcasts monthly (up from 26% last year), according to this year's Infinite Dial report on digital media consumer behavior. The results were presented via YouTube video by Edison Research's Tom Webster and Triton Digital's John Rosso (who should both launch second careers at The Comedy Store). In a summary of the report, The New York Times' Jaclyn Peiser wrote, "podcast growth is popping." — EDISON RESEARCH/TRITON DIGITAL

2. In a blog post on Tumblr, Luminary-attached podcaster Lauren Shippen lays out her reasons for jumping over to the new platform. "Luminary has given me and my team an opportunity that I literally have never encountered anywhere else in entertainment before - they’ve given us an actual, workable budget and complete creative autonomy," wrote Shippen. Lots of interesting responses to her post, should you care to check them out. (Thanks to Ma'ayan Plaut for bringing my attention to this one.)

3. Michigan Radio's gutwrenching podcast on the Larry Nassar scandal, Believed, has won the Scripps Howard Foundation award for excellence in American radio/podcasting. "The lifelong costs and consequences of childhood sexual abuse were made vividly, urgently clear in the superb Michigan Radio series Believed,” said the judges in a statement. WNYC Studios' "Aftereffect" and WBEZ Chicago and The Chicago Tribune’s project "16 Shots" were finalists for the award. A live awards ceremony, hosted by CBS This Morning: Saturday's Michelle Miller, will be held on April 18th. — ALL ACCESS

4. According to a story in Deadline, Wondery is "plotting" a TV version of its hit show Over My Dead Body. (This sounds like a made-for-TV podcast in and of itself — Who will play CEO Hernan Lopez? And who will be murdered during the pitch meeting?) The company is on the hunt for an "in-house development executive" to navigate the process. Wondery already has TV deals in motion for at least three of its podcasts, including Dr. Death, Gladiator and its Business Wars series on Adidas and Nike. — DEADLINE

* Throwback Thursday *

“Since everyone around here thinks I’m queer anyway," 47:00 minutes, submitted by reader Jeff Rutherford

S-Town, March of 2017 

When Jeff Rutherford suggested S-Town's sixth episode for the Throwback Thursday feature, I was all too happy to re-listen to this groundbreaking podcast again. S-Town landed with impact when it arrived in 2017 and has stuck in the memory of many listeners. It’s a serialized show, and if you haven’t listened yet, I recommend starting from the beginning. That said, this particular episode can almost exist as a standalone, as it chronicles the “desperate” and unsuccessful search for romantic love by the story’s perplexing yet brilliant central character, John B. McLemore. This episode lays bare the isolation he endures in a touching, heartfelt narrative.

5. At this week's RAIN News Podcast Business Summit, Google's Zack Reneau-Wedeen announced that over the course of this week, the Google Podcast app will be rolling out episode search to its users. The podcast product manager added that his company's overall goal in the audio market is to "help double worldwide podcast listenership."

6. In a story for Fast Company Melissa Locker writes that restricting content leaves listeners in the cold, reserves the greatest opportunities for "pre-sold talent," and threatens to cut out what so many of us love about podcasting: its diversity and weirdness. "If I wanted to hear from big-name radio types and celebrities with popular TV shows, well, I think there are other outlets for that," says Locker. 

7. In this engrossing episode of The New Yorker Radio Hour, investigative journalist Jane Mayer sheds light on the unusually close relationship between President Trump and Fox News. Mayer says that former Fox exec Bill Shine, who is now the White House communications director, has helped create a "revolving door where those who create the administration’s political messaging and those who broadcast it regularly trade places."

8. Brian Benton's collection of Marc Maron's 14 best interviews on Discover Pods fills me with a mixture of euphoria and dread — will I ever find time to crush this list? Anthony Bourdain, Amy Poehler, Robin Williams, Paul McCartney and Lorne Michaels are just a few tantalizing names in this treasure trove. 

9. On the Listicle Menu this week: The top 40 podcasts for developers and IT experts (40!?); the greatest seven poker podcasts of 2019, the ten best wellness podcasts of the year; and finally, three podcasts The New Yorker thinks you should listen to this month (if you're an avid reader of this newsletter, you've heard mention of them already — but with Sarah Larson's endorsement, perhaps now's the time to throw down.)

10. Serial co-creator Julie Snyder is joining "podcast music label" Signal Co. No1, as a "producer-at-large." Tip of the hat to Podnews for spotting this piece of intriguing industry news.

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: Kim Lyons (managing editor at Inside, a Pittsburgh-based journalist with recent bylines in the NYTimes and Columbia Journalism Review.) and Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

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