Inside Podcasting - July 23rd, 2019 |

Inside Podcasting (Jul 23rd, 2019)

Amazon / Freaknik / Crime in '69 / Moonrise / Overcast Improvements

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1. Vox Media has launched Land of the Giants, a narrative podcast hosted by Recode's Jason Del Rey. The show's first season explores how Amazon's enormous growth and power has altered the culture at large. "Amazon is wonderful. Amazon is terrible...As a journalist who’s closely covered Amazon for six years, and as a 37-year-old dad who relies heavily on the company and the convenience it offers, I’ve struggled to understand and reconcile these contradictions," writes Del Rey in an eye-opening essay on why he created the show. Listen to a trailer here. — VOX 

2. Very Smart Brothas senior editor Panama Jackson has published "nine thoughts" on Endeavor Audio's new podcast Freaknik: A Discourse on a Paradise Lost.  Freaknik was a "near-mythological" spring break party originally thrown by African American university students in Atlanta. Jackson writes that "the podcast is worth checking out for Black historical and anecdotal purposes and because Atlanta in the ’90s might have been the best place for Black people in America." In researching Freaknik's backstory, host Christopher Frierson interviewed students, journalists, business owners, politicians and artists who witnessed and/or participated in the event — including rap legend Too $hort. The first four of the podcast's eight episodes are out now. — VERY SMART BROTHAS

3. Spotify's new series Summer of '69, Presented by Parcast is the streaming giant's first joint production with the true crime podcast production company it acquired last April. The series, which was developed by producers who work across Parcast's portfolio of shows, is designed to "showcase why Spotify acquired it so soon after snapping up the more acclaimed podcast studio Gimlet Media" and "what [Spotify] can do when it throws its marketing might behind a previously scrappy network." The series' first installment arrived yesterday. — FAST COMPANY

4. The Washington Post has dropped the first episode of Moonrise, a new podcast that explores why President John F. Kennedy decided to send astronauts to the moon. "I feel like that doesn’t get explored as much, and especially right now with all of the anniversary coverage," says host Lillian Cunningham (Cunningham also created WaPo podcasts Constitutional and Presidential). Cunningham's reporting unveils many semi-forgotten narratives around the event — such as the impact of popular science fiction on the President's directive and what happened when he suggested the U.S. and Russia team up on the mission. Listen to the trailer and take a visual trip to the moon here. — THE VERGE

5. The Overcast listening app is getting rave reviews for its recent update, which allows users to share longer clips and improves its recommendation engine. In the past, people looking for suggestions were required to link the app to a Twitter account. With its latest update, users simply click the "+" icon on the top right of the screen and up pops a privacy-friendly "suggestions for you" section that "displays podcasts that are commonly subscribed to by people who enjoy the same shows as you." Click through to see a long list of titles. Beautiful. — MACSTORIES

6. The team behind Mueller, She Wrote has launched new podcast The Daily Beans, "a women-owned and operated progressive news podcast for your morning commute." Also on the Mueller front, actors including Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mark Hamill, John Lithgow, Annette Bening, Kevin Kline, and Alfre Woodard have performed a play based on the special counsel's 448-page report, which is now available to your ears (and eyes) here.

7. Yesterday the closely-related creators of Dungeons & Dragons podcast The Adventure Zone released a graphic novel inspired by their show (it's not their first). "I hope that listeners will really dig it because for me, the big appeal for making this book was about taking this thing that is sort of ephemeral, and podcasts are sort of ephemeral, but we ended up with a story that we all really love," says co-creator Justin McElroy.

8. Thanks to those of you who replied to yesterday's newsletter with your favorite podcast interviews with women! I enjoyed reading your responses and plan to feature them in a future issue of this newsletter (feel free to chime in if you haven't already). In the meantime, I curated a list of five of my favorite interviews for the good folks over at Earbuds Podcast Collective this week. If you're looking for a few good listens, check it out here.

9. Probably True, "an award-winning slightly filthy storytelling project tackling LGBT issues in a fun and engaging way," has returned for a second season (H/T Podnews).

10. Cadence13 is looking for a producer who is "comfortable working with high profile talent, artists, and guests." Apply here.

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.

Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).

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