Inside Podcasting - November 15th, 2019 |

Inside Podcasting (Nov 15th, 2019)

Podnews speaks up, iHeart is silent / Audio Erotica / Family Ghosts is back

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Today we will be launching our 58th newsletter, Inside Meditation. Over the last decade I’ve been meditating and it’s had a profound impact on my life, lowering stress, making me more focused and fostering a sense of equanimity in my life. 

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1. I recently spoke with an iHeart executive about the company's process for determining awards nominations and category fit. The executive responded that the company "[has] a panel that makes these decisions, and it's not just iHeart people." She sent me the list of the panelists, which I published in this newsletter yesterday. Since then, I've received a number of responses from representatives of the companies and organizations that were included. Here's an example:

We were asked to vote on winners, yes. However, we were not at all involved in selecting who the finalists would be. That was done before it got to me. We were simply sent a voting form with all of the finalists already on there, and told that is who we had to pick from. No write-in option or anything. 

I heard this same thing from others, including Podnews' James Cridland, who posted a detailed article on the matter this morning. 

I've reached out to iHeart for comment; if anything comes of that, I'll report it here.

2. Caroline Spiegel (sister of Snapchat founder Evan) has launched Quinn, an audio erotica website, which offers up curated content "social media-style." Users can participate by sharing their own stories, reading erotica or listening to others' work. Twenty-two-year-old Spiegel says that she hasn't decided on Quinn's business model just yet “because people are not prepared to pay for porn." (Wait, what?) In any event, the service has established basic guidelines, including rules against content including participation from minors or non-consensual acts. — BLOOMBERG

3. Follow Friday: I'm not really a watch-this-adorable-video-of-a-cat kind of person. For one thing, I hate cats (sorry but they're mean). And for another, forced cuteness is just, UGH. But I stumbled across @akkitwts' Twitter feed the other day and now, Oh My God WHAT IS HAPPENING — it's brimming over with cat videosamazing humans, gorillas using sign language, babies beat-boxing, and just-rescued dogs and I'm just overcome with drippy, sappy love. Seemingly overnight I've become that annoying colleague who yells, "Wait, guys, I know you have an urgent meeting, but you've GOT TO SEE THIS VIDEO." I just, I can't stop.

You ever have a hard day? A hard week? Don't worry, Akki's got you.

4. The third season of Family Ghosts begins on December 4. According to the season trailer, the podcast (which investigates the true stories behind "a mysterious figure whose legend has followed a family for generations") features long-lost fathers, long-lost brothers, descendants of U.S. slaves, and more. To celebrate the upcoming season, host Sam Dingman and his team are producing a live show at Caveat in Manhattan on December 3. (get tickets here). 

5. Writing for Podcast Brunch Club, Julie Magruder reports that Dropping In "stands out" among wellness podcasts. The show, which is produced by educational nonprofit Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, allows listeners to "drop-in" to the organization's classes and workshops, and hear directly from its accomplished instructors such as Olympic Medalist Bonnie St. John, author Don Miguel Ruiz Jr., spiritual teacher Tim Olmsted, and economist Winona LaDuke. "Dropping In certainly brings something unexpected in a sea of the same-old," writes Magruder. — PODCAST BRUNCH CLUB

6. The creators of Dolly Parton's America and Moonface have both released playlists inspired by or heard within their shows. The Dolly list features songs from the country goddess herself, Rhiannon Giddens' band The Carolina Chocolate Drops, the Dixie Chicks, Faihruz, and others. Moonface's list includes work from a number of musicians including OYSTER KIDS, Joyce Kwon and Peggy Gou. I will be listening to both!


7. Ever wonder why people like you and me have grown up to believe that the garbage-strewn globe is our fault — rather than the fault of the companies producing the junk in the first place? Hat/tip to Andrew Conkling, who pointed me to this episode of Throughline, which reveals that this lopsided blame game is the result of a deliberate and decades-long public relations and advertising campaign led by manufacturers to shift the focus from their production to our trash habits (remember the "crying Indian"?). It's fascinating.

8. Hyperobjects Industries' Adam McKay has partnered with Adam Davidson and Laura Mayer over at Three Uncanny Four Productions, to create "an exclusive joint venture to develop original podcasts." McKay and Davidson have partnered on a number of projects in the past including Surprisingly Awesome, and the more recent Broken: Jeffrey Epstein. Former Wolf Den producer Harry Nelson rounds out the team as its resident producer. According to a story in Deadline, the unnamed enterprise will produce both "scripted and unscripted" programming (please see a rant on this wording here) and will begin releasing content in 2020. — DEADLINE

9. Yesterday I discovered Alex Kapelman's aptly-named webpage "Ridiculous Amount of Podcast Resources." And it is exactly as advertised: links to stories, podcasts, videos and books covering nearly every imaginable podcast-related topic. (H/T to the extremely resourceful Ashley Lusk.)

10. Nightvale is going on a world tour that will take them to 50 cities around the globe. How wonderful to see the world's appetite for fiction podcasts in action. Get your tickets 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).

We're at work on Season 2 of the Inside Podcasting podcast and hope to have more to share soon. In the meantime, you can catch up on the first season which included interviews with:

Ian Chillag, the creator of Everything is Alive 

Jessi Hempel, who hosts Linked In’s podcast Hello Monday

Martine Powers, who hosts Post Reports from the Washington Post 

Leon Neyfakh, the co-creator of Slow Burn, who is now the host of Fiasco 

Madeleine Baran, the investigative reporter behind In the Dark

and Inside CEO Jason Calacanis, who hosts This Week in Startups

You can find the show wherever you get your podcasts. Let us know what you think!

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