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Inside Podcasting

Inside Podcasting (Mar 25th, 2019)

Dear Readers,

On Friday I published demographic data furnished by Wonder Media Network CEO Shira Atkins, which showed that out of 32 Luminary podcasts (the number for which Atkins' team could find info) half will be hosted by white men. On Friday afternoon, Luminary COO and Chief of Staff Lisa Schrader supplied me with new data, which takes into account all 41 of Luminary's announced shows:

  • 59 percent of Luminary shows are led by women or people of color (16 females + 8 POC males);
  • 12 percent of Luminary shows are led by hosts that identify as LGBTQA;
  • 39 percent of hosts are female (12 percent POC + 27 percent white);
  • 61 percent of hosts are male (20 percent POC + 41 percent white);
  • 68 percent of the hosts are white; 32 percent of the hosts are POC.

Lisa also supplied me with the following statement: "With 59 percent of our shows led by women or people of color and 12 percent of our creators from the LGBTQA community, Luminary is proud of our commitment to diversity and inclusivity. We will continue to expand our network with more diverse voices in the coming weeks and months, and intend to meaningfully impact diversity in podcasting over time." 

Readers, as always, hit reply if you have thoughts on any of the above. And thanks to Lisa, who was responsive and straightforward in her answers.

— Skye Pillsbury

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1. A growing body of research shows people prefer to hear a female voice when they need help and a male voice when making a decision (this is just... I can't even... ). But perhaps Q, a newly-developed genderless voice assistant can save us from our biased selves. Q, which has no connection to the similarly-named conspiracy theory, was developed by a team of sound designers, linguists and researchers, in conjunction with folks at Equal AI, the organizers of Copenhagen Pride week and others. Give it a try here. Thanks to journalist and new podcast host Jessi Hempel for calling my attention to this one. — THE NEXT WEB

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2. Last month Elecia Dexter, editor and publisher of The Democrat-Reporter in Linden Alabama, quit after owner Goodloe Sutton published a story encouraging the KKK "to ride again." In this interview with Columbia Journalism's Review's The Kicker podcast, Dexter, who happens to be African American, opens up about the experience. "I'm hopeful that good things can come out of this, even if not for me, for the people [of Linden.]...They still have a paper that's not representing them." Hat tip to Eve Batey at Inside Media for spotting this episode.

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3. The New Yorker has penned an interesting profile of Political Party Live's millennial hosts, the youngish podcasters who keep showing up at political town halls in Iowa (and, on occasion, inadvertently landing their subject in hot water). Says host Stacey Walker, "We are not Charlie Rose [well, thank goodness for that!]. We’re not NPR. We’re kind of in that middle ground somewhere—where most of our questions are going to be policy-specific, policy-driven." Bring on the kids! — THE NEW YORKER

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4. Start with This, an interactive podcast for aspiring writers from the minds behind Welcome to Night Vale, launched this month. In a story for Forbes, the hosts say they hope the show inspires listeners to "find their own assertiveness... and figure out what their tastes are." The show comes with a (non-mandatory) $5/month membership forum where writers can share ideas, solicit feedback and find inspiration. — FORBES 

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5. On Friday, we reported that Andy Yang's campaign got a financial boost after the candidate appeared on a spate of podcasts. Other presidential hopefuls are making use of the medium as well— this week you can hear Cory Booker on Pod Save America and Amy Klobuchar on Recode Decode. Where's Beto? Thankfully it looks like he's giving his gaffe-ridden podcast tour a much-needed rest. 

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6. KPBS has launched Only Here, a collection of unique stories that could only come from people who live on the border between Tijuana and San Diego. In its first episode, we hear from Beto Soto, a gay undocumented artist, who has preserved his experiences in a series of revealing photographs. For more border town stories, check out this list of podcast episodes collected by The New York Times.

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7. Anchor, which was recently acquired by Spotify (do I need to keep saying that?), has launched a new "analytics suite" for both Android and iOS mobile devices. The tools provide users with geolocation data, "estimated audience" reports and the ability to sort episodes by name, length, number of listens, or publish date.

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8. Podnews is reporting that the BBC has removed its podcasts from Google Podcasts and is also blocking Google's access to its podcasts. James Cridland, who says this may signal "the end of open," has penned a special report on the matter.  

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9. Did you celebrate #ShareYourBudsSunday yesterday? I did — and it went great until Max got involved.

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10. Public Service Announcement: Today, Inside.com (my employer) is launching its 41st newsletter, Inside Sales. Like Inside Podcasting, it's free and designed to please. If you work in sales and need to keep up-to-speed on the space, sign up here

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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: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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