HELLO READERS: Woot woot, I just dropped the newest episode of Inside Podcasting, in which I interview In the Dark's Madeleine Baran. There's zero overlap with the donor's-only episode that was released by the In the Dark team yesterday — so I hope you listen to them both!
In today's newsletter, I bring you an excerpt from the notes I took at last week's Podfront, which includes a selection of news about upcoming content, quotes and stats (Podfront is an event where podcast makers do their best to convince brands and ad buyers to spend money advertising on their shows).
Next week I'll publish a another special issue of the newsletter, which includes readers' favorite podcast theme music. If you'd like to be included, please reply with at least two sentences about your choice and why you love it. If I include your contribution, I'll be happy to include your name, title and preferred social.
Thanks all — now on to Podfront.
ONSTAGE AT PODFRONT
There’s a real zeitgeist around what this industry is and what it can become. But it’s early. We are in the time of discovery and innovation. — KERRI HOFFMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF PRI/PRX
A story is really just a sequence of events. That wasn’t obvious to me when I started out. You can get the most boring sequence of events and it will still pull you in. People will stick around and engage with banal topics that they’re not even interested in. Shows that harness narrative have a power that other shows can't match. They deliver story satisfaction. The Daily is news told as narrative. Narrative shows get even more downloads that binge-worthy television. I find it interesting that the big brands are still not [advertising] in podcasting. Cell phones are not [advertising] in this — and people are listening on their phones! — IRA GLASS, CREATOR OF THIS AMERICAN LIFE
People change their mind routinely, just from listening to a story. Narrative opens people up. That’s part of the magic behind Snap [Judgment]. — GLYNN WASHINGTON, CREATOR AND HOST OF SNAP JUDGMENT
Most tech hosts are men — and mostly white men. We’re going to invite a new group of people in, who don't see themselves as tech people into the tech world. We're going to make them feel comfortable. — ARIELLE DUHAIME-ROSS, HOST OF RECODE'S UPCOMING SHOW RESET
We've created a community. We always meet people who say they’ve found their friends — they've found their people — because of Nancy. — TOBIN LOW, CO-HOST OF NANCY
The good part is that it’s Will [Ferrell], who doesn’t need a lot of prep to be funny. But we had to realize: Oh! You can edit it this later! That was like, a lesson we had to have. There was a huge learning curve. It's so fun that there are no restrictions, like there is when you’re making a film. It’s been fun exploring the limitlessness of podcasts. Will pitched a movie where people are just in an elevator, but the movie guys didn't go for it. But we can do it with a podcast! — CAROLINA BARLOW, CO-HOST OF THE RON BURGUNDY SHOW
We are built for intimacy. We have about 20 reporters and 15 producers, but we try to package it so that it feels like we’re talking to just one listener. I am speaking directly to you. — AL LETSON, HOST OF REVEAL
We had this idea that we could use tips to [monetize our podcasts]. That didn't work so well, so we shut it down. We still get a few thousand dollars a month from people who haven't figured that out. — LEO LAPORTE, FOUNDER AND OWNER OF THE TWiT PODCAST NETWORK
It’s a creative challenge for a podcaster — figuring out how to work a sponsor into the show. It needs to be done in the voice and spirit of the show. — DREW ACKERMAN, CREATOR AND HOST OF SLEEP WITH ME
I f**king love reading ads. I know that if I'm reading it, the audience knows that I actually need this. — NATE DIMEO, CREATOR AND HOST OF THE MEMORY PALACE
Podcasting allows us to show and describe our work to the audience. It’s transparency. We can be more explicit in our own assumptions. We can talk through our thinking process. We can also show our humility and our sense of humor. — NATE SILVER, FOUNDER AND HOST OF FIVETHIRTYEIGHT
There are people out there who say they’ve heard the word 'podcast' but they don’t know what it means. They just haven’t found their show yet. There’s a show for everyone. When you find your show, you find the medium. — TOM WEBSTER, SENIOR VP OF EDISON RESEARCH
We didn’t sit around saying, look we really need to do a podcast about the inside of prison [a reference to Ear Hustle]. You just have to be open and listen to the needs of your audience. — KERRI HOFFMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF PRI/PRX
— Code Switch is producing miniseries on what's it's like to be Black and republican.
—Embedded is working on a story about 8chan.
— Next month, NPR will launch a daily science and innovation podcast. (I think it's called ShortWave? Can someone chime in and confirm?)
— The second season of Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend arrives on Oct. 7.
— The Dream's second season examines the wellness industry and arrives Dec. 2.
— Reset arrives Oct. 15. Three times weekly.
— The ESPN Daily arrives in October.
— Laura Beil, the former host of Dr. Death, will host Bad Batch, a podcast about the stem cell industry. Arrives next month.
— The Mysterious Mr. Epstein launches Oct 1. (For those keeping score, this is at least the third Epstein pod to emerge in the last few weeks).
— Wondery has teamed up with The Athletic on a daily sports podcast called The Lead. The show arrived this week.
— An upcoming season of Business Wars will focus on Instagram and Snapchat
— New millennial advice pod Adult ISH and fiction thriller Passenger List have arrived.
— The network is in production on a show that explores long-haul trucking.
— Open Ears Project, which explores classical music, has arrived and a new season of Trump, Inc. will land this month.
— Dolly Parton’s America and Scattered are slated for October.
— The Other Latif, Orbiting Human Circus, and the second season of Aria Code launch in November.
— Death Sex & Money is developing a show (or series?) centered around housing, gentrification and community.
— Nancy is working on a Ru Paul’s DragCon piece.
— Long May they Run launches this month. Its first season profiles the band Phish.
— The Happiness Lab also arrives in September. The show is hosted by Dr. Laurie Santos, who teaches a popular class on happiness at Yale.
— Under the Cadence13 banner, Tenderfoot TV is producing a horror/documentary anthology series titled Radio Rental. Evidently, inspiration for the show came "from the mind of Payne Lindsey."
BY THE NUMBERS
— Reaches 23 million listeners per month.
— Offers over 60 active podcasts.
— 89% of its audience listen from start to finish.
— Code Switch listenership has increased 40% since last year.
— Radiolab's special miniseries "G" has recorded over 14 million downloads.
— Wondery and Neurolab ran a study titled "Your brain on podcasts."
— According to the research, audio storytelling trumps visual storytelling in terms of emotional impact across every category.
— After listening to an ad on a podcast, people trusted the advertiser more; after watching a video ad on YouTube or Facebook, people trusted the advertiser less.
— Midroll says it provides detailed data to its advertisers. Example: 51% of Midroll listeners have eaten at a quick service restaurant 6+ times in the last 30 days.
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).