Friday, May 29, 2020
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Pointing to what it calls “tremendous” audience growth for podcasting last year, analysts at eMarketer have significantly increased their outlook for how many listeners the medium will have in 2020 and during the next few years. It expects the total reach of podcasting in the U.S. to hit 105.6 million listeners this year, a 14.8% increase compared with 2019. Beyond just hit shows, eMarketer credits new ways to access podcasts for the stronger-than-expected growth rate. Read more

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Despite COVID-19 upending the global economy, the bright prospects of podcasting were illustrated this month when PodcastOne announced it was selling itself to LiveXLive. “In this marketplace, especially with what we’re going through now, bigger is better,” said founder Norm Patiz. Speaking on the Media’s New Deal podcast, he said the $18.1 million sale price is a “reality check” for the high prices being paid for podcast companies. Read more

If you’re wondering how to steer a business through tough times, longtime Honeywell chief Dave Cote has a few ideas, which he shares with iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman on the latest episode of the podcast “Math & Magic: Stories from the Frontiers of Marketing.” (One tip: Don’t panic.) Cote also discusses growing Honeywell from a business worth $20 billion to one worth $120 billion and his upbringing in rural New Hampshire, among other topics. Read more

NBC Sports Regional Networks has debuted a new six-episode podcast anthology series called Sports Uncovered that re-examines some of the most memorable and compelling storylines and events in sports history. The hosts for each show will come from the regional networks, but NBC Sports anchor Mike Tirico will introduce each episode. Read more

The Podcast Academy, a joint effort to raise awareness of podcasting as well as lead the effort to advance knowledge and relationships in and around the business, is taking the next steps in its formation. The industry trade group has announced its first volunteer board of governors. The Podcast Academy will open itself to membership starting June 22. Read more

Ohio-based Evergreen Podcasts has signed a content distribution deal with Podcast Radio, the London-based company putting podcasts on the U.K. radio dial … Triton Digital has added more user controls to its Omny Studio podcast management platform … Podimo has become the latest podcasting company to raise capital despite the COVID-19 impact on the public markets … Spotify removes the content cap from the app’s “Your Library,” allowing users to save an unlimited number of podcasts and music. Read more

From a pair of comedians obsessed with the TV series “Disappeared” to a podcast investigating the Department of Homeland Security, there’s quite a range of topics covered in new podcasts. The list also includes new fiction works covering topics like a missing sister to a thriller set in space. Here’s some of what’s new this week in podcasting. Read more

Thursday, May 28, 2020
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There’s more evidence that podcasts are helping people get through the coronavirus lockdowns. A new survey of radio listeners finds podcast consumption has grown. Jacobs Media says 12% of those surveyed said they’re listening to podcasts more than in the past. In fact, six weeks after Jacobs first surveyed listeners about how the pandemic was affecting them, audio showed the largest media usage increases. Read more

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Two-thirds of Stitcher podcasts are streamed not downloaded, and Washington state punches above its population when it comes to contributing listening hours to the app. Those are two of the findings in the Stitcher Podcasting Report, an analysis of the company’s podcast consumption that offers insights into the state of the industry overall. Including during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

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Apple may be taking steps toward not being just a pipeline for podcasters to listeners. Bloomberg reports the company is recruiting for a podcast content executive while at the same time it has begun acquiring the rights to two different types of podcasts. One type would be companions to Apple TV+ shows. The other type of podcast would be ideas and stories the company could adapt into movies or TV series. Read more

Treefort Media’s The No Sports Report, the podcast launched two months ago by radio veteran Jensen Karp after the COVID-19 outbreak wiped the sports calendar clean, is joining the iHeartPodcast Network. The Monday-through-Friday podcast features one-on-one interviews with athletes, coaches and commentators from across the sports world who, just like their fans, are desperately missing the games they love. Read more

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The Los Angeles Times is returning to the true-crime genre. It has so far released true-crime podcast hits like Dirty John, Man in the Window and Detective Trap, and now its latest series will tackle the story of Betty Broderick. It Was Simple: The Betty Broderick Murders is a four-episode podcast that aims to shed new insights into the story that’s already been the subject of books and TV movies. Read more

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The Wisconsin-based podcast network Public House Media has announced its plans to join the ranks of daily news podcast producers. It will launch Ketchup on June 1, saying the podcast aims to mix the day’s top stories with “feel good news.” Each episode will run 15 minutes. In addition to the podcast, Ketchup will also include a live video content component and a focus on social media. Read more

iHeartMedia and Freebird say they’ve entered a multiyear strategic partnership to market Freebird’s rideshare rewards mobile app across iHeartMedia’s multi-platform audio network. The agreement kicks off the “Rev Up America” initiative, which supports riders who are safely returning to restaurants, bars and other local businesses when COVID-19 government and healthcare conditions have been met. Read more

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
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The coronavirus pandemic has impacted how people are consuming media, and it has also altered content preferences. On radio that has meant more news-talk listening and fewer people tuning to AC stations. When it comes to podcasts, new Edison Research data shows there was some impact during the COVID-19 lockdowns too. But with each passing week, Americans are slowly returning to their favorite shows and genres. Read more

Listeners are burning out on wall-to-wall coronavirus news, according to anecdotal evidence from the producers of some of the medium’s biggest news podcasts. That shifting taste has created an opening for the newest entrant to the daily news podcast genre called News O’Clock. The Millennial-targeted podcast is a blend of news and pop culture from the digital news site BuzzFeed and the iHeartPodcast Network. “We’re trying to thread that needle,” host Hayes Brown said. Read more

Magazine publisher Meredith is doubling down on podcasting, launching four new shows during the next few weeks tied to print titles Allrecipes, Parents, Southern Living and Travel + Leisure. “Podcasts present a growing opportunity for our trusted brands to tell resonant stories in ways that are possible only through voice technology and the intimate listening environment it provides,” said Catherine Levene, President of Meredith Digital. Read more

Bloody Disgusting, one of the most popular independent media brands in horror, has partnered with Acast to grow its portfolio of podcasts and scale up its existing shows to a global audience. Bloody Disgusting broke into podcasting in 2017. It currently publishes four shows that have a combined one million downloads per month. Read more

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic closing down schools, NPR says it received more than two-thousand podcasts submitted by students in its annual Student Podcast Challenge. NPR’s team of judges listened to every entry and has released the list of 25 finalists. Two grand-prize winners will be announced next week. NPR also said it plans to expand the competition to college students in 2021. Read more

KSL Podcasts, the freestanding podcast unit within Bonneville-Salt Lake City, will tell the harrowing real-life story of an American couple that spent two years inside a notorious Venezuelan prison in its latest podcast release. Hope in Darkness: The John Holt Story – a coproduction between KSL and Wondery – follows American Josh Holt and his Venezuelan-born wife who were swept up by the Venezuelan government two weeks after they were married. Read more

AdLarge Media’s podcast selling division Cabana has extended its agreement with Ashley Flowers’ Crime Junkie podcast to continue to handle ad sales for the hit show. Crime Junkie is a top-ranked podcast with more than 31 million downloads per month. AdLarge is also lending its support to help grow Flowers’ Audiochuck Network with four new shows, all executive produced by Flowers, set to be released. Read more

Tuesday, May 26, 2020
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For a second consecutive week, podcast downloads and audience size have posted their best growth since the COVID-19 lockdowns began nearly three months ago. Podtrac says among the shows and networks it tracks U.S. weekly downloads grew 5% during the week of May 18 to 24 compared with the prior week. Podcast audience growth increased 4%. And Podtrac reports downloads during weekday commute times are up compared with the pandemic low week. Read more

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Edison Research has been tracking the habits of weekly podcast listeners and its data suggests that while COVID-19 brought unprecedented disruption to daily life, the impact on podcasting has been rather small. Its Podcast Consumer Tracker showed weekly podcast listeners averaged 6 hours and 23 minutes of listening time during the period of April 1-May 12. That was eight minutes more than during the first quarter. Read more

Local sports podcasts are high on Amazon’s shopping list as the company reportedly looks to expand into podcasting with locally-focused content. As the e-commerce company secures more sports play-by-play rights for its streaming television services, Axios reports it views companion podcasts as a way to leverage that content. Amazon Music and its audio book division Audible are also said to be ramping up podcast investments. Read more

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Larry King’s radio career stretched decades, first in Miami, then coast-to-coast until he left the medium to focus on his CNN show. Now 86, King is returning to the audio format with the launch of his new podcast. The Millionth Question will feature King in conversation with celebrities, entertainers, athletes and musicians. The initial 11-episode run is slated for a mid-June launch. Read more

Fresh on the heels of LiveXLive’s planned acquisition of PodcastOne, the live event video streaming company is quickly demonstrating how it plans to leverage its entry into the podcasting business. PodcastOne’s Adam Carolla partnered with LiveXLive over the holiday weekend to produce a video podcast – or vodcast as it’s becoming known as – that featured a mix of stand-up comedy and musical performances. Read more

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The latest positive sign of a country returning to normal comes from ABC Audio, which today is relaunching its coronavirus daily show and podcast to better reflect the reopening that’s spreading across the globe. The result is that the show known as “COVID-19: What You Need to Know” will now be called “Bringing America Back: What You Need to Know.” The daily, one-hour radio program and podcast will continue to be hosted by correspondent Aaron Katersky. Read more

Barstool Sports’ podcast Call Her Daddy will move forward with one of its two hosts after Alexandra Cooper announced in a YouTube video over the holiday weekend that she had inked a deal with the company to host the show without co-host Sofia Franklyn. Cooper said she will release an episode on Wednesday, which would be the first since early April, when the two women stopped recording shows as they attempted to renegotiate their deal with Barstool Sports. Read more

Comedy podcast downloads have grown by a third so far this year as the genre has become an escapism go-to during the coronavirus lockdowns. Comedy podcasts will be the focus of Acast’s virtual Feed Drop event on May 27, which will focus on the latest trends and the opportunities for creators, publishers and advertisers. “Feed Drop will showcase why podcasting is such a hit for comedy — and why listeners are tuning in,” says Acast’s Brian Danzis. Read more

Thursday, May 21, 2020

“Audio content is having a renaissance,” says Ryan Steelberg, cofounder and president of Veritone, the advertising technology company that’s leaning heavily into artificial intelligence to change how ads are bought and sold. In a new white paper, Steelberg says AI-based technologies are already making a difference as the number of podcasts grow – not only in numbers but also in the variety of subjects they cover. Read more

In another ding at exclusivity, the paywall is coming down for The Passion Economy. The podcast had been only available for Luminary subscribers, but the show’s production company, Three Uncanny Four, says it is relaunching as a widely distributed series, with the release of the June 3 episode. The Adam Davidson-hosted podcast is no longer featured on Luminary. Read more

Long before the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370, the disappearance of a twin-engine plane in Alaska carrying two U.S. congressmen captured the headlines. The plane went down in Alaska in 1972, and nearly five decades later the cause of the crash — and the plane’s location — remain a mystery. And as the new iHeartPodcast Network show Missing In Alaska lays out, there are more questions than ever about what really happened. Read more

A settlement between the creators of the podcast S-Town and the family of a deceased man at the heart of the series is a reminder of why producers should get a release from the subject of an interview waiving rights to publicity and privacy, says attorney David Oxenford, who says they also should give a producer the rights to exploit the recordings that are made. In doing so, he says that should help reduce the risk that state privacy laws may otherwise pose to podcasters. Read more

Hubbard Radio awards Phil Mackey with new corporate responsibilities as Brand and Digital Content Director for the company, Mackey will help station brand and content managers create new “plus” content for digital platforms built around their core brands. Mackey’s new role evolves from the recent transfer of Wheeler Morris from Manager of Podcast Strategies to Market Manager for Hubbard Radio Seattle.

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The iHeartPodcast Network’s Commencement Speeches For The Class Of 2020 podcast series had lots of on-radio support. Media Monitors says iHeart aired 54,907 commercials promoting the event last week … Ad buyers still want podcasts. Entercom says sell-through rates and CPMs were both up “significantly” in April despite the COVID-19 lockdowns … Fox News Audio is releasing three on-hour podcast specials tied to Memorial Day weekend … NPR’s Planet Money, the podcast and radio show, has hit the 1,000-episode milestone. Read more

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Stability ruled among the top-ranked podcasts in the latest monthly ranker of most listened-to shows. Podtrac says the top six podcasts came in the same in April compared with May. The Daily remained in the top spot even as the top 20 offers glimpses into the psyche of listeners during a month marked by coronavirus lockdowns. NPR’s Planet Money had one of the largest month-to-month gains, while the quest for escapism brought iHeart’s The Ron Burgundy Podcast back onto the top 20 ranker. Read more

News that Joe Rogan will take his popular podcast to Spotify in a multiyear licensing agreement starting in September represents the biggest gamble on exclusivity in the industry to date. Rogan said last year his podcast has about 190 million downloads per month across a variety of listening apps, including Apple, iHeartRadio and Stitcher. But come September his show will only be found on Spotify, meaning for a majority of podcast listeners his eleven-year old show will disappear. Read more

The latest data point showing that podcast listening habits are returning to normal — as more of America reopens and lockdowns are less stringent — comes from Libsyn. During the past three weeks it has seen a smaller decline in how downloads for shows on its platform are performing during mid-week — Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday — compared to its baseline in January. Read more

Podcaster Jessica Cordova Kramer and best-selling author Stephanie Wittels Wachs bonded after both women lost their brothers to opioid overdoses. Together, they decided to build the Lemonada Media podcast network into a portfolio of shows with an “unfiltered” conversation about the human experience. Their latest entry into that lineup is In Recovery, a limited-run series designed to provide support and guidance to those in need for either themselves or their loved ones dealing with the disease of addiction. Read more

The Forever Dog Comedy Network is returning to the Art19 hosting platform, reigniting a partnership that includes hosting for Forever Dog’s full network catalogue and trafficking dynamic ad insertion campaigns. Forever Dog, which produces more than 30 weekly comedy and lifestyle podcasts, had most recently been with Megaphone. Read more

Andi McDaniel has been named CEO of Chicago Public Media where she will oversee the company’s growing podcast division and Chicago radio stations news/talk WBEZ (91.5) and urban alternative “Vocalo” WBEW (89.5). McDaniel, who will join the group this fall, is currently Chief Content Officer at American University news/talk WAMU (88.5) in Washington, DC. Read more

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Joe Rogan Experience, one of the most listened-to podcasts in the U.S., has signed a multiyear licensing agreement to become an exclusive to Spotify by the end of the year. Rogan announced during his show Tuesday that starting September 1 his eleven-year old podcast would become available on  Spotify as well as the other listening apps, and then by the end of the year the show would only be found on Spotify.  Rogan said last year his podcast has about 190 million downloads per month. Read more

The flight toward normalcy comes equipped with headphones, it seems, as podcast listening just had its best week since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns gave birth to a massive work-from-home shift and disrupted media patterns. Podtrac reports the U.S. weekly podcast audience increased three percent last week (May 11-17) compared with the prior week among the publishers it tracks, while podcast downloads were up four percent. It is the strongest weekly growth rate since the beginning of March. Read more

Three days after Google suspended the Android podcast listening app Podcast Addict from the Google Play Store, the app was reinstated on Tuesday along with an apology from the tech giant. Podcast Addict creator Xavier Guillemane said the incident was “really stressful” and in a Twitter post credited the support he received from people on social media for helping resolve his situation so quickly. Read more

In an unusual move for a podcast publisher, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy took control of the Call Her Daddy podcast feed and released an episode offering his side of what’s been going on behind the scenes of the standoff that has kept the show dark since early April. “In my 17 years of doing this, I have never dealt with anyone as unprofessional and disloyal and greedy as those two,” he said. Read more

The lawsuit brought by the family of a deceased man at the heart of the podcast S-Town has reached a settlement with Serial Productions, nearly two years after it was first filed in federal court in Alabama. At issue was whether the podcast, which was downloaded more than 92.5 million times, violated Alabama’s right of privacy law. The settlement could help advance the rumored sale of Serial Productions. Read more

Some television companies have expanded into podcasting to leverage their news content into audio and reach a new audience in the process. But WISH-TV Indianapolis is trying something different. It is building a state-focused content network and it’s inviting outside podcasters from around the state to join what it’s calling the All INdiana Podcast Network. Read more

Triton Digital’s Omny Studio podcast publishing platform is expanding the consumption analytics that users will be able to access in real time. In addition to listening data, publishers can also view aggregated analytics around where their podcast listening is taking place. Triton says allowing publishers to dive deeper into their audience data will give them “a more holistic view” of the performance of their podcast. Read more

Monday, May 18, 2020
Monday, May 18, 2020

The Android podcast listening app Podcast Addict has been “suspended” from the Google Play Store after it was determined that the app was said to be violating the tech giant’s coronavirus-related policies. Those guidelines were created to help stop the spread of misinformation, but they also have seemingly tripped up Podcast Addict because of some of the COVID-19 topics discussed on podcasts it features. Read more

Liberated Solutions, the parent company of Libsyn, has released its year-end 2019 revenue numbers after a bookkeeping delay and the numbers show the podcast hosting company experienced double-digit growth overall last year. Total revenue increased 10% to $24.2 million, which it said was largely due to an increase in its hosting revenue while ad dollars declined. Read more

The iHeartPodcast Network series, Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020, featuring messages from former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, musical artists John legend, Kesha and Mary J. Blige, aired across iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide this past weekend. The series culminated Sunday night with a range of 30-minute on air commencement specials on all music stations and 60-minute specials on all talk stations. Read more

The NAB Show in Las Vegas may have become a virtual event but the industry’s awards were still real. The broadcast trade group presented the NAB Digital Leadership Award to J.D. Crowley, Chief Digital Officer at Entercom. In addition to overseeing the company’s portal, Crowley has a growing role in podcasting after Entercom acquired Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Media. “It is storytelling and not just science that is our industry’s greatest gift,” said Crowley in comments made during the online award presentation. Read more

Wondery has reportedly put an offer in front of the Call Your Daddy hosts Alexandra Cooper and Sofia Franklyn in an attempt to lure them away from Barstool Sports … The Frolic Podcast Network may soon be helping steam up television. Parent Frolic Media has struck a first-look deal with CBS Television Studios … The Dungeons & Dragons-focused podcast Critical Role is further expanding its brand into print … The BBC says its podcasts totaled 230 million downloads across all apps during the first quarter, the same as the previous quarter. Read more

Friday, May 15, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the creativity and adaptability of podcasters as shows on the drawing board in February no longer seemed relevant in April. Now, as the country moves forward and some lockdowns ease, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman said his company is leaning on data and its scale to navigate what 2020 still has in store for the industry. “More than ever, we have to be wildly flexible,” he said. Read more

A group of 15 fiction podcasts are partnering to create the Fable and Folly Network. The effort is led by Sean Howard, producer of the comedy adventure podcast Alba Salix, Royal Physician, who believes that by working together they’ll have a better chance at monetizing their creations and change how advertising is sold on fiction podcasts. Read more

Starburns Audio is mixing social media live streaming and podcasting with its latest show launch that was born out of the coronavirus lockdowns. Stuck at Home is a new podcast that pairs screenwriter Cliff Dorfman and Starburns CEO Jason Smith as hosts. The show is an interview program that streams live on YouTube, Facebook Live and Twitter each weekday at 6:30pm ET and then posts the following morning as a podcast. Read more

LiveXLive’s $18.1 million purchase of PodcastOne is coming under scrutiny after the live streaming events company disclosed it secured just under $2 million in federal dollars as part the government’s Paycheck Protection Program geared toward helping companies keep workers on the job during the coronavirus pandemic. But the company didn’t pay cash for PodcastOne — that was an all-stock deal. Read more

Spotify is aiming to localize its podcast and music offerings by debuting city-based content hubs called “Listen Local.” The first one is in New York … Buzzsprout has announced a flurry of updates and new features to its podcast hosting platform …Samantha Land has been hired by A3 Artist Agency as the first in-house podcast producer for the talent agency … Rebel Base Media’s podcast hosting platform Captivate is offering expanded unique listener analytics for users to give podcasters a tally of how many unique listeners a show has had. Read more

Tesla founder Elon Musk made headlines for his tweet storm and subsequent lawsuit seeking to reopen his auto factory in coronavirus-closed California. Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy is now making a similar rant that’s capturing attention on social media. “You can’t just decimate the entire economy,” he said, noting Barstool is “going to be alright.” Read more

Thursday, May 14, 2020

What are people listening to during the coronavirus lockdowns? The Fiction, Science and True Crime categories each had a bump in April, according to the latest analysis of the publishers tracked by Podtrac. The data shows iHeartRadio had the most shows across the most categories, while NPR had the most No. 1 shows across categories. And News had the largest average U.S. audience across Podtrac’s top five shows again in April, clocking in at 5.9 million. Read more

A new chief executive has apparently given investors the confidence to pump another $30 million into the subscription podcast company Luminary. Bloomberg cites unnamed sources as it says the private round of fund raising valued the company at less than the $200 million it was pegged at a year ago. The report says the money will come in handy since Luminary is reportedly burning through more than $4 million a month with less than $500,000 in monthly revenue. Read more

Entercom, the parent of Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Media, says its investment in podcasting has helped soften the blow of a downturn in the overall advertising market as marketers have continued to spend on podcasts. Digital revenue at the company increased 41% during the first quarter, which it said was propelled by strong audience and revenue growth in podcasting and digital audio advertising. Read more

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is returning to a role in front of the microphone as host of a podcast that he’s producing for the home of his former radio home. Cumulus Media’s news-talk WLS Chicago (890) is launching The Lightning Rod, in which the controversial former politician and convicted felon will talk politics, government, trending stories and global issues. “I’m finally free and fired up to speak my mind,” he said. Read more

Podcasting has proven it’s more than just an entertaining medium — it can also shine a light on injustices and even convince the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a conviction. Now the new iHeartPodcast Network show Dear Governor may help a California man get off death row after three decades. “This is the story of one man, but it’s not merely one man’s story,” said producer and host Corny Koehl. Read more

The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation has announced the winners of the 45th annual Gracie Awards, the competition that celebrates the most talented women in television, radio and digital media. This year that list includes the most podcasts ever in the history of the awards. Here’s who won. Read more

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Podcast content targeting young people is hot right now with downloads in the Kids & Family category up 22% so far this year, according to Podtrac. The public media company PRX says it has seen an increased demand for family-friendly content during the COVID-19 quarantine. Now in a move to better serve 9- to 13-year-olds, PRX has created Trax, a portfolio of free podcasts and multimedia elements geared toward that age group. Read more

Nearly two dozen podcasts are featured on Accessmore, the new streaming app being launched by Educational Media Foundation. The platform will include streaming channels of its contemporary Christian radio networks “K-Love” and “Air1” as well as a library of faith-based on-demand podcasts. Read more

The sudden dismissal of the entire morning show at Entercom modern rock KROQ-FM Los Angeles (106.7) two months ago has led to the launch of the podcast The No Sports Report. “I know first-hand about how hard things can be right now for people but above all else, I’m a sports fan and I’m in dire need to follow something right now,” said host Jensen Karp on a preview of the new show he’s hosting for the iHeartPodcast Network. Read more

While a lot of podcasts are being sized up as potential television or film projects, it’s not the only format making the cross-media leap. Voyage to the Stars, the fictional podcast about a group of misfits lost in space, will become the latest podcast to be adapted into a comic book. IDW Publishing says it plans to begin rolling out the comic series in August. Read more

Storic Media Podcast Networks, the podcast company launched earlier this year by radio syndicator United Stations Media Network, has teamed up with television personality Melissa Rivers for the newest addition to its lineup. Melissa Rivers’ Group Text was inspired by daily group chats between Rivers and her friends. Read more

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

From driving habits to radio listening, as states slowly reopen media habits continue to approach pre-lockdown levels. And while some podcasters never saw a coronavirus dip, for a third consecutive week Podtrac data for the overall industry points to a slow-but-steady return to normal. And since the start of the year, weekly downloads are up 25% and weekly audience has increased 9%.  Read more

Digital revenue grew during the first quarter for Cumulus Media even as its broadcast revenue took a hit due to coronavirus-related advertising cancellations. Cumulus reported a 15% revenue decline. And while broadcast radio spot revenue decreased, digital revenue was a bright spot. CEO Mary Berner said first quarter podcast revenue had a strong finish despite the coronavirus, soaring more than 60% during March. Read more

The adverting tech company Veritone reports it experienced a “significant revenue disruption” in its ad business and in the licensing of its artificial intelligence aiWARE platform starting in March. But President Ryan Steelberg credits the company’s diversified customer base for enabling it to “weather the storm” effectively. Veritone revenue slid 1.8% in Q1 but said its podcast business remains “very strong.” It also announced a new deal with iHeartMedia covering both podcasting and broadcast radio. Read more

The ad tech company Amobee is integrating its digital ad-selling platform with Triton Digital’s audio marketplace, allowing Amobee’s TV and digital clients to seamlessly buy digital audio and podcast advertising. Through the integration, Amobee clients will now be able to make audio ad buys through both open marketplace and private marketplace deals alongside all digital programmatic planning. Read more

The podcast studio Audio Up is getting some support from Hollywood. MGM Studios has reportedly taken a stake in Audio Up, the creation of audio creative agency Jungle Punks CEO Jared Gutstadt after he helped to create Bear And A Banjo, the iHeartRadio Original musical podcast. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Deadline reports MGM will have first-look rights to develop those podcasts into new works such as television or film adaptations. Read more

Acast is taking another step to increase its reach into the growing Latin American podcast market. The company has teamed up with the U.S.-based not-for-profit Radio Ambulante Estudios to launch a Spanish-language news show targeting the region. El Hilo will cover Latin American news with Radio Ambulante producing the content and Acast responsible for hosting, distribution and ad sponsorship sales. Read more

Monday, May 11, 2020

The coronavirus has changed the mood of America in just a matter of weeks, and that means podcasters have needed to adjust ideas on their drawing boards. Will Pearson, COO at the iHeartPodcast Network, said they’re having conversations around what sort of podcasts they felt people would crave while they were home-bound during the pandemic. That includes the Fake Doctors, Real Friends breakout podcast, whose quick success surprised hosts Zach Braff and Donald Faison. Read more

With the world of sports largely sidelined, Barstool Sports saw its monthly U.S. audience drop 24% during April and downloads decline 19%, according to Podtrac. But by being flexible with advertisers, the sports and lifestyle brand says it’s finding new ways to keep ad buyers engaged. “Singles and doubles matter right now,” CRO Deirdre Lester told The New Normal podcast. Read more

The intended audience is graduates, but the lesson for everyone is how the audio medium’s growing appeal has allowed iHeartMedia to secure a roster of some of the biggest names in America for its virtual graduation. In a second wave of additions, iHeart is bringing more A-listers to the podcast event Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020. It’s geared to graduates and their families that won’t be able to attend the typical cap and gown ceremonies this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

A federal appeals court in Washington has dealt another blow to a patent holding company looking for damages from CBS for allegedly violating a patent tied to podcasts. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has rejected a petition filed by Personal Audio seeking the full circuit review a decision handed down in April by a three-judge panel. At stake is $1.3 million awarded by the lower court. Read more

A weekly radio feature that former First Lady Barbara Bush produced with ABC Radio during her time in office is finding new life as a podcast. The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is launching Mrs. Bush's Story Time, a new podcast for families featuring original recordings from the radio program of the same name. The podcast also features new content, such as memories about childhood reading experiences shared by best-selling authors. Read more

Friday, May 08, 2020

There is a new top podcast publisher, according to Podtrac, which says the iHeartPodcast Network overtook NPR during April. The report shows iHeart had a monthly unique U.S. audience of nearly 22.6 million compared to NPR’s 21.8 million. NPR still had a slight edge in terms of downloads, although both companies again topped 200 million. And the top ten publishers’ average audience increased 11% compared with a year ago. Read more

Advertisers are more willing to take a chance on a new media during an economic downturn and iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman thinks podcasting is today poised to benefit from that just as social media did during the recession a decade ago. “We’re seeing about three-times the revenue growth that we’re seeing usage growth,” he said Thursday. The company reported first quarter podcast use increased 35% on iHeartRadio while revenue soared 80%. Read more

As Americans get ready to celebrate mothers this weekend, Edison Research has released its annual “Moms and Media 2020” study showing 57% of moms have listened to a podcast. And about a quarter reported listening to one in the last week. But moms’ lives are busy and the study found a quarter of them are having a harder time finding time to listen to online audio during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

E.W Scripps is seeing a “stabilization” in both its podcast listening and advertising and predicted that its Stitcher division may even benefit long-term from new media habits that are being formed during the COVID-19 lockdowns. “Some advertisers have increased spending with us, and new advertisers continue to enter the podcast marketplace,” CEO Adam Symson said Friday. Stitcher revenue grew 13.4% during the first quarter. Triton Digital revenue slid 1.1%. Read more

The team that produces the “Marketplace” public radio show for American Public Media is launching a pop-up season of its podcast The Uncertain Hour that will tie history into the current state of the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Titled A History of Now, the pop-up podcast will feature weekly episodes exploring the backstory of key themes such as how unemployment is dealt with, how the holes in the social safety net got there, and the history of quarantine. Read more

ABC News correspondent Mara Schiavocampo is launching a new podcast on the iHeartPodcast Network about wellness, beauty, style and fitness trends … ESPN and Netflix are looking to leverage the success of its Michael Jordan docuseries “The Last Dance” into podcasting … Spotify is testing video-based podcasts with YouTube stars … Acast makes a South Asian play as it partners with JioSaavn, the region’s largest streaming platform … Latin America had a combined 18.2 million downloads from March 16 through April 12. Read more

Thursday, May 07, 2020

More than a million podcasts now exist with millions more episodes and that is making show discovery a bigger challenge for the industry. To help consumers sort through that vast ocean of content, Gracenote, the Nielsen-owned audio recognition service, is setting its sights on podcasting. It’s launching Gracenote Audio On Demand, a standardized and enriched dataset that will enable improved navigation, search and discovery of more than 37 million podcast episodes. Read more

It’s been a challenging year for conferences and live events as one by one, plans big and small have fallen victim to the coronavirus and its ripple effects on critical components like airline schedules. One that has remained has been Podcast Movement, which is set to hold podcasting’s largest conference in Dallas. But organizers now concede their August dates are no longer feasible and have moved the show to October 19-22. “August is too soon to hold the event safely,” they said. Read more

Tribeca Studios, the content creation arm of the organization that sponsors the annual Tribeca Film Festival, is making its move into podcasting. It has partnered with the iHeartPodcast Network to launch Fierce, a podcast that focuses on women whose stories were lost to time. It’s hosted by journalist and author Joe Piazza, who also hosts the relationship-focused Committed podcast. Read more

Considering the world around us, who doesn’t need a chill-out tool today? The meditation app Headspace is offering another one as it makes the leap into podcasting in a partnership with Cadence13. The companies will produce Radio Headspace, a daily three- to five-minute meditation app hosted by Headspace co-founder and former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe. Read more

A dozen podcasts have been nominated for a Peabody Award, the annual journalism competition that honors radio, television and digital media each year. Pineapple Street Studios leads the list, holding two of the nominations. Other nominees include iHeartPodcast Network, Cadence13, NPR, American Public Media, PRX, WNYC Studios, Montana Public Radio, BBC Sounds and WXPN Philadelphia. Winners will be announced June 18. Read more

Digital audio ad platform DAX names industry veteran Les Hollander Chief Growth Officer for the U.S. and Canada. Hollander joins DAX from Spotify where he was Global Head of Audio Monetization. He previously held executive positions at Gannet Media and Pandora and was Senior VP/Regional Manager at CBS Radio from 2004-2008 after holding sales positions at Clear Channel. Read more

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

With print ad dollars plummeting, the move into podcasting continues to pay off for the New York Times, which reports that podcast ad revenue increased 30% during the first quarter compared with a year ago. Executives said consumption of its flagship podcast The Daily has also been a beneficiary of a “surge in audience” due to increased news consumption related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more