Inside Podcasting - July 17th, 2019

Inside Podcasting (Jul 17th, 2019)

Apple Wants In / POC Directory / LAist / ESPN / Gordon-Levitt Loves Talking

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1. According to a story from Bloomberg, Apple is planning to bankroll and exclusively distribute original podcasts on its audio platform (it was only a matter of time, right?). "Executives at [Apple] have reached out to media companies and their representatives to discuss buying exclusive rights to podcasts...Apple has yet to outline a clear strategy, but has said it plans to pursue the kind of deals it didn’t make before," reads the report. As the majority shareholder in terms of podcast listenership, Apple — or the company heretofore known as the industry's "impartial steward" — will enjoy a significant advantage if/when it acquires or develops content for the space. Spotify stock dropped more than 2 percent after the news broke. — BLOOMBERG

2. Recently, I wondered aloud what had come of Phoebe Wang's idea to create a POC-positive resource for employers and people looking for work in our industry. Yesterday, I got my answer: the POC Audio Directory is now live with more than 500 entries for people of color with audio experience around the globe. In order to enter the directory, employers must agree to the following terms of service:

  • I will pay employees a living wage.
  • I will consider the ways in which my workspace might be hostile to people of color and find concrete ways to support their contributions and wellbeing.
  • I will continually reflect on how my networks, taste, curiosity, comfort and values are shaped by my race, class, gender, where I grew up, the media I consume, and the fact that we live in a white supremacist culture. This takes time. It will require vulnerability, and a commitment to ongoing learning.
  • I understand that this directory is not ZipRecruiter, and that expanding my hiring practices requires that I dedicate some time to engaging with potential candidates in a deeper way than simply scanning their years of industry experience.

Good luck to all involved!

3. Yesterday the Washington Post wrote about ESPN's upcoming daily news podcast, The ESPN Daily. The show, which is slated for October, will feature a "mix of news coverage, trends in sports and feature stories done by ESPN’s team of reporters" and arrive in 18-25 minute chunks. Interestingly, within the Post story, author Ben Strauss compares the new pod to The Daily, which he describes as "a popular podcast from the New York Times." I was going to make an obnoxious joke about how someone should tell Strauss about his own newspaper's daily news podcast — but it turns out he just didn't want to brag about it. — WASHINGTON POST

4. Southern Californa Public Radio, which houses KPCC (The Big One) and digital news website LAist, has unveiled podcast "boutique" LAist Studios. LAist will produce podcasts "for the new mainstream" that fall into one of three categories: programming that reflects "what Los Angeles is talking about across cultural and socioeconomic lines," narrative fiction and nonfiction inspired by the station's southern California environs, and stories that extend the work of ongoing SCPR reporting. "There is a fascination with Los Angeles, whether in TV or movies, so I thought there should be a studio with a public radio remit that tells these stories," says SCPR CEO and cable TV veteran Herb Scannell. — FAST COMPANY

5. The findings of a report from Megaphone show that podcast episodes have been getting shorter over time. A detailed Medium post from the company warns aspiring podcasters: "Whatever length you choose to make your episodes, remember that you’re competing both with a new wave of short, tightly produced podcasts and a fair number of entrenched longer shows that have already earned their audience’s trust." Also on the research front: a report from Audience Insights and Westwood One shows that Google and Spotify are catching up to Apple in terms of audience share and data from Voxnest reveals that listening times can vary by category. 

6. "There was no euphoria... I felt really alone and I was ashamed and embarrassed that things weren't going well." That's Jamie-Lynn Sigler in a candid moment during March of Dimes' newly-launched docuseries Unspoken Stories. The show, which is hosted by actress Tatyana Ali (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), pulls back the curtain on authentic stories of "pregnancy, parenthood and loss."

7. On Cadence13's Creative Processing with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the actor and his artsy friends will answer listeners' questions about the creative process. "I love talking about that stuff," says Levitt during the show's eight-minute trailer (we can tell!).

8. Leah Culver, engineer and founder of social podcast app Breaker, discusses what sets her company's podcast app apart on the latest episode of new how-did-you-build-that pod Code Story. "We try and surface things we think you, individually, will really like." (Breaker also allows users to see their social media friends' subscriptions and comment on, like or share individual episodes.) [H/T Deanna Chapman, host of Stephen King podcast Chat Sematary, which you should also check out.]

9. Podcast Collective Hub & Spoke, home to The Lonely Palette, Soonish, and Ministry of Ideas, has added science-and-history-gone-wrong pod The Constant to its roster. A recent episode explains how Douglas Corrigan flew across the Atlantic accident?

10. 30for30 Podcasts will preview new series "The Sterling Affair" at Podcast Movement in August. The multi-part installment, which arrives sometime this summer, focuses on disgraced Clippers owner Donald Sterling. If you have exciting news to announce at Podcast Movement, please tell me about it in advance (embargoes honored). 

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), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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