Friday, January 22, 2021
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The diversity of podcasting – both in its creators and the content – were on full display Thursday night as the third annual iHeartRadio Podcast Awards celebrated the industry’s best. The top prize went to Earwolf’s Office Ladies, which was selected by listeners as Podcast of the Year. 

Honors for best hosts went to Conan O’Brien and Nicole Byer. There was even a winner of a new show pitch. Here’s a rundown of all of the 2021 winners. Read more

Programmatic ad selling is growing quickly. But as advertisers look to algorithms for how their spots are placed, there is also the realization that it could be working against efforts to help make podcasting more diverse. Sherine Patrick, Digital Investment Manager at Mindshare told the Programmatic Virtual Forum on Thursday that some content producers are being marginalized by key word blocking tools. Read more

Ava DuVernay, the filmmaker best known for hard-hitting biopic, documentary, and fiction movies and TV series like the film “Selma,” the documentary “13th,” and the Netflix miniseries “When They See Us,” has signed on to produce podcasts for Spotify. Under their multiyear partnership, DuVernay and Spotify will produce exclusive scripted and unscripted original audio programming. Read more

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Digital audio ad network Targetspot will integrate Tru Optik’s data management platform into its digital audio advertising system, bringing advanced audience targeting to its clients. The two companies say advertisers will have targeting capabilities that result in precise, effective and cost-efficient advertising campaigns across mobile, smart speakers and even gaming consoles. Read more

Anchor, the Spotify-owned podcast creation app, is reportedly the biggest advertiser for shows it hosts... HBO is adding a podcast component to the long-running “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” series...APM is releasing its first Spanish-language show in partnership with ReVovler... The Daily Wire had $65 million in revenue in 2020...The Washington Post’s morning news podcast The Daily 202’s Big Idea is using the presidential transition to make one of its own. Read more

In honor of Inauguration Week, there is a new crop of political podcasts and new seasons from others. It includes new shows from Crooked Media and the Washington Post focused on President Biden’s first 100 days. Elsewhere, David Bowie gets a new iHeart biopic podcast. An ESPN host takes on country music. And comedian and actress “Jess Hilarious” takes on podcasting. Here is some of what is new in podcasts this week. Read more

Thursday, January 21, 2021
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The online counseling service BetterHelp was podcasting’s biggest advertiser during December. Magellan AI says the company spent more than $7 million across 556 podcasts last month, an 80% increase compared to November. It was the most BetterHelp has ever spent on podcasting. Bank of America, McDonald’s, SimpliSafe, and Amazon rounded out the top five. Read more

A recent report from Edison Research and NPR said spoken-word audio like podcasts is where advertisers can engage with Gen Z and Millennials and Blacks and Hispanics. Data from The Media Audit’s Fall 2020 survey of the Pittsburgh market offers a one city snapshot that seems to confirm the conclusion. It found 49.2% of adults 18 and older in Pittsburgh listened to podcasts during the past month were either Gen Zers or Millennials. Read more

Tonight’s the night for the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards. This year’s virtual celebration of the industry was recorded from multiple locations and will feature awards that span 30 different categories to honor the most entertaining and innovative podcasts from over the last year, as well as the talent and leaders across the podcasting industry. The show will air across iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and on the iHeartRadio app. It will also stream on iHeartRadio's YouTube and Facebook pages. The show begins at 9pm ET. Read more

As Acast targets the North American ad market it has hired Elli Dimitroulakos as Head of Automation, Americas. In the newly created position, Dimitroulakos will lead Acast Automated – the company’s rapidly growing programmatic advertising arm – in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Acast saw its programmatic business grow 215% last year. Read more

The podcast hosting platform Spreaker has launched a self-serve advertising platform targeting podcasters who want to place ads for their show in other podcasts. The programmatic platform it is calling AdHub will allow podcasters to have ads dynamically inserted into shows and target listeners regardless of which app they are using to access a show.  Read more

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Podcasts continue to hold the third-biggest share of listening on smart speakers. Edison Research’s latest Share of Ear data shows 16% of listing on the devices went to consuming podcasts. That is essentially even with its share in the prior report which is based on a rolling four-quarter average. Edison also reported for the first time that the ad-supported version of Amazon Music had a 4% share. It now also includes podcasts. Read more

Audioboom has reported its 2020 revenue grew 20% compared to a year earlier, climbing to a better than expected $26.8 million. The company said it had 311 brand advertisers during the year, up from 280 in 2019. That 11% growth rate came despite the pandemic’s impact on the global economy. “I am delighted that the company continues to perform well on all fronts despite one of the most challenging years in history,” said CEO Stuart Last. Read more

Efforts by iHeartMedia to diversify its podcast lineup has so far led to the launch of the Black Effect Podcast Network and an alliance with Seneca Women Podcast Network. It is also working on a new Hispanic-focused network. There is also a growing number of LGBTQ-focused content with the comedy podcast Slumber Party joining the lineup this week. Read more

“This isn't a 'three chicks talking sports' gimmick,” says ESPN’s Kimberley A. Martin, setting the record straight right up front about a new podcast she is co-hosting with fellow ESPNers Charly Arnolt and Chiney Ogwumike. ESPN says the podcast First Take, Her Take will however feature the trio of women as they lean into their unique backgrounds and personalities to discuss the biggest sports stories. The format will be similar to ESPN TV’s weekday morning discussion show, “First Take.” Read more

Backtracks, the Austin-based podcasting platform, has announced it has raised $1.6 million in previously undisclosed investor-initiated funding. Since it closed the funding round, Backtracks has launched a suite of new products that enhance the ability of publishers and advertisers to understand and reach audiences with what it calls “next level analytics” and machine learning-based capabilities. Read more

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The Vox Media Podcast Network is entering the morning news race for listeners with the rollout of its daily short-form podcast. Vox Quick Hits will actually be two or three episodes each morning that will offer listeners a mix of short episodes from other Vox podcasts covering the news, politics and pop culture. By simultaneously releasing several ten-minute episodes, Vox says it will more resemble a playlist than a traditional podcast. Read more

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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Ad buyers are more data-driven than ever, and so the takeaway from new YouGov numbers about podcasting could not be clearer. “If your audience is under 50, podcasts should definitely be in consideration for your media mix for advertising or content distribution,” says YouGov. Its annual tracking survey finds that between 2019 and 2020 the share of podcast listeners and frequency of listening increased across all age groups. Read more

Apple is reportedly working on creating a subscription tier of podcasts, using the lure of a slate of original shows as its bait to consumers to pay for what is currently available for free on the Apple Podcasts app. There has been no comment from Apple so far, but podcast studios are said to have been in talks with Apple since last fall. Read more

Whether Apple launches a subscription product remains to be seen, but in the meantime, Apple Podcasts has just added a new feature geared at showcasing content. Apple Podcasts Spotlight is a new monthly editorial franchise that elevates singular voices in podcasting to new listeners. Chelsea Devantez of Stitcher’s Celebrity Book Club is its first-ever selection. Read more

Podcasting listening continued to see its post-holiday growth last week, helped along by a flurry of new releases. Podtrac reports among publishers and shows it measures, downloads were up two percent for the week of Jan. 11-17 compared to the prior week. It was the third consecutive week of growth in the number of downloads. Listeners were a bit more high-minded as the Arts category had the biggest week-to-week growth in downloads. Read more

Friday, January 15, 2021
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Most of the annual CES conference is about new tech developments and gadgets, but content cannot be entirely separated from the conversation. In the past that has largely meant video. But as an audio renaissance captures more attention, the annual Digital Hollywood event put the spotlight on podcasting as more big tech companies see it as a new content piece of their business. “The trend in consolidation is really towards scale,” said Stitcher’s Sarah Van Mosel. Read more

Podcast executives say they have seen a bump in Bible-focused podcasts in recent weeks as religion remains a mostly untapped genre for the medium. Looking to grab a piece of that growing category, the iHeartPodcast Network has just signed bestselling author and Houston pastor Joel Osteen to bring his podcast to them. Read more

The fallout from the New York Times’ retraction of major portions of the Caliphate podcast continues. The influential KCRW Los Angeles (89.9) has announced it will no longer air the Times-produced news podcast The Daily. We have concerns about how the Times has handled the aftermath of the erroneous reporting in its audio series Caliphate,” said Paul Bennun, Chief Content Officer at KCRW. Read more

Spotify’s “podcast pivot” may not be gelling as planned. That is according to Citi analyst Jason Bazinet, who issued a report to investors on Friday saying there does not appear to be “any material benefit” to the streaming music company which has invested more than $500 million on building a podcast business. “We have not seen a material positive inflection in app downloads or premium subscriptions,” he told investors. Read more

Horror film legend John Carpenter is about to slash his way into podcasting. Carpenter and producing partner Sandy King Carpenter, the president of Storm King Productions, have signed a deal with Serial Box to co-produce an exclusive line of horror stories in audio format under the John Carpenter Presents banner. Read more

Audioboom is extending its partnership with Formula 1... Libysn offers a peek at which browsers are most popular among podcasters... The end of the Trump administration is bringing the end of the Trump Inc. podcast...AdsWizz integrates the global ad platform Adform with tis AdWave platform... Team Coco, the content company helmed by Conan O’Brien, adds new shows... Hush Money podcast looks to TV...Infinite Dial 2021 release date set by Edison Research. Read more

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Looking to capitalize on the flurry of deal making in the podcast industry, the four public media companies that own Pocket Casts have decided to put their listening app up for sale. Pocket Casts has been owned by NPR, New York Public Radio and Chicago Public Media since May 2018. The group then took on BBC Studios as an ownership partner last March. Read more

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Podchaser, the AI-powered podcast directory, has scored $4 million in new funding that the company says will help it continue to build out its “IMDb for podcasts” and build tools for podcasters, ad agencies and brands. “Our goal is to convert the firehose of podcast data into a drinking fountain of insights that power discovery and decision-making throughout the industry," said CEO Bradley Davis. Read more

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The home audio hardware maker Sonos continues to invest more in the content that comes out of its speakers. It has recruited Poet and writer Hanif Abdurraqib to launch Object of Sound, a new podcast and weekly radio show. Object of Sound is one of Sonos Radio’s first weekly shows accessible to listeners on all major podcast platforms. Read more

A shaving company executive once pitched in his TV ads that he liked the product so much he bought the company. That is apparently part of the business plan at Evergreen Podcasts, which has once again not only added content but also taken an ownership stake in the producer of the series. The latest deal involves Ars Longa Media, a fast-growing podcast network focused on medical topics. Read more

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Houston Public Media’s “News 88.7” KUHF Houston has suspended airing of The Daily, the syndicated radio version of the top-ranked podcast produced by the New York Times. The move comes amid growing pushback from public radio programmers over how the newspaper has handled its investigation and retraction of the limited-run Caliphate podcast. Meantime, the Times says it has “already begun implementing changes.” Read more

When syndicated radio personality Dan Patrick announced last August that he had created The Dan Patrick Podcast Network in a partnership with iHeartMedia and Workhouse Media, word was the network would feature more than just the sports content that Patrick is known for. Now comes the proof of that with the release of Two Guys from Hollywood, a new podcast about the entertainment industry. Read more

Nearly a year since the publishing giant Condé Nast said it was creating a network of brand studios tied to its magazine titles that will develop content across podcasts, films and television, several of those who had worked on the audio projects have left the company. And in a public letter released Tuesday, eleven former producers, editors, and engineers say Condé Nast has become a poster child for what not to do. Read more

A year after the sudden death of NBA great Kobe Bryant, iHeartMedia’s news-talk KFI Los Angeles (640) is launching a limited-run podcast series looking back at what happened. The Death and Life of Kobe Bryant will also be released as a two-hour documentary that KFI will air on Sunday, January 24. The special will also be syndicated across all iHeartMedia’s news-talk stations. Read more

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has awarded Southern California Public Radio KPCC (89.3) a two-year grant worth $500,000 to advance the growth of LAist Studios, the station’s podcast development and production division. The CPB funding will go to support LAist Studios efforts to bring more Latino creators into its fold, by hiring the support staff needed to give them the tools to develop shows and engage diverse young audiences.  Read more

Cabana, the podcast-focused ad selling arm of AdLarge Media, is making its first foray into the international market. It has signed an agreement with The Podcast Exchange (TPX) for exclusive Canadian ad sales representation of its Cabana podcast portfolio. The company says the deal will bring new revenue opportunities to podcasters working with Cabana. Read more

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Podcasts continue to have a home field advantage among the medium’s fans. Edison Research’s latest Share of Ear data shows that among people who listen to podcasts, the medium continues to have the largest share of audio time spent. The data – released by Westwood One – shows the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on listening location continues to be minimal. But middays have become the biggest daypart. Read more

Post-holiday podcast downloads jumped 21% last week as the seasonal impact on normal media consumption patterns continues to fade quicker than normal in a pandemic-impacted 2021. The news has been especially dramatic in recent days, and that drove listeners to News genre podcasts. Podtrac says downloads of News podcasts increased 48% compared to the prior week.  Read more

Conservative talk show host and podcaster Ben Ferguson is joining the roster at the iHeartPodcast Network and its sister radio syndication company Premiere Networks. “The Ben Ferguson Show” joins Premiere’s weekend lineup and is available to air live Sundays from 7-10pm. The Ben Ferguson Podcast becomes part of the iHeartPodcast Network, with new episodes posted Sunday through Fridays. Read more

The WGBH, Boston-based program “The World,” which airs on nearly 300 stations in the U.S. through PRX syndication, is partnering with The Economist magazine. The collaboration will enhance the international news coverage on the public radio show, while also expanding the reach and impact of The Economist’s growing portfolio of podcasts.  Read more

Cadence13 – the Entercom-owned podcast studio – is adding to its sports podcast portfolio with a new series hosted by Miami Heat Forward Duncan Robinson. The Long Shot will celebrate the accomplishments of underdogs – not only in sports but also entertainment and beyond. It is the second series to come from NBA veteran JJ Redick’s ThreeFourTwo Productions which has aligned with Cadence13. Read more

Monday, January 11, 2021
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Pandora’s value is taking a one billion dollar hit. But it is not the streaming service’s declining user numbers that are fully to blame. Instead, parent SiriusXM says higher music royalty costs are the largest culprit. The once high-flying Pandora has seen a shift in consumer behavior to other services, most notably Spotify. Despite turnaround efforts and more focus on podcasts, third quarter marked another decline in monthly active users at Pandora. Read more

Monday, January 11, 2021

Podcasts have been popping up more and more on broadcast radio with even some stations taking on an all-podcast format. Indiana is about to hear the first religious formatted iteration of the strategy. “Redeemer Radio” WRDF Ft. Wayne, IN (106.3) says it has secured agreements with a lineup of more than four dozen Catholic podcasters from around the country and it will begin airing a “carefully curated” playlist of podcasts for six hours each weekday. Read more

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast has lost its distribution on YouTube. The Google-owned service said it “terminated” the podcast’s channel and another associated with the show for repeatedly violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines. The podcast has frequently covered the false allegations of voter fraud. While the show has disappeared from YouTube, it remains widely available on podcast apps. Read more

International broadcaster and influential DJ and music producer DJ Semtex has launched the new podcast called Hip Hop Raised Me. That is the same name of his critically acclaimed bestselling book that detailed DJ Semtex’s relationships with the hip-hop community. The podcast will feature him in conversation with some of hip-hop’s biggest names. Read more

A new, temporary breed of CES opens today, not in glitzy Las Vegas but on a screen near you. As a virtual event, the pandemic version of the annual tech extravaganza is expected to draw 150,000 online attendees, comparable to previous in-person events, but only 1,500 exhibiting companies, about one third of last year’s total. One of the attractions to CES has traditionally been to discover where technology is going, and this year’s event occurs at a key inflection point. Read more

Patreon has hired Instagram executive Julian Gutman to become Chief Product Officer for the membership monetization platform used by many podcasters to monetize their content. Gutman will lead Patreon’s Product and Engineering teams. He most recently was Head of Product for the Home experience at Instagram. “We're in the very early days of a cultural transformation driven by individual creators,” said Gutman. Read more

Friday, January 08, 2021

With forecasts that podcast ad revenue will top $1 billion this year, it is easy to assume that advertising appears on all shows. But as part of the annual Podcast Trends Report released this week, AdsWizz surveyed a group of 30 podcast publishers around the world and discovered one in five is not yet focused on making money. The survey also found publishers aren’t always in tune with what ad buyers’ top priorities are. Read more

The WNYC Studios podcast Death, Sex & Money will leverage its radio connections this month with a pair of special episodes that will also be live radio programs. The Getting Real About Getting Older series features the voices of people aged 60 and older with stories crowdsourced from podcast listeners around the country. Next Wednesday, January 13 (8-10pm ET) the podcast will become a national radio call-in special for older listeners to share their own perspectives. Read more

Salem Media Group has appointed Chicago programmer Marcus Brown to a lead role on the just-launched Salem Podcast Network. “Excited to be a part of the launch of Salem Media Group’s new podcast network. It’s been a long time in the making, but it’s finally off the ground,” said Brown in a post on LinkedIn. He is currently the Director of Content Strategy for the company’s Chicago radio stations. Read more

The digital news site BuzzFeed is rebranding and refocusing the daily news podcast that it coproduces with the iHeartPodcast Network. The show will now be called BuzzFeed Daily... Amazon’s entry into the podcast business has resulted in the company getting a seat on The Podcast Academy’s Board of Governors... Triton Digital has grown its footprint in the fast-growing Indian podcast market. Read more

The Apology Line is a new podcast about the man who became known as Mr. Apology...Large Nerdron Collider is a new podcast series embracing the geekiest of nerd culture... A Kentucky TV anchor launches podcast investigating the disappearance of a local man... Dr. Jane Goodall fronts a new series that takes listeners on a journey through her life lessons Here is some of what is new in podcasts this week. Read more

Thursday, January 07, 2021

The iHeartPodcast Network remained the biggest podcast publisher in December among the entities measured by Podtrac. With a portfolio of more than five hundred podcasts, iHeart had 26.8 million unique listeners in the U.S. last month, with more than 243 million streams and downloads. NPR remained second. In line with year-end traffic trends, Podtrac reports all the top 20 publishers had a decrease in monthly audience and downloads. Read more

The on-demand version of a syndicated morning radio show was the biggest mover on Podtrac’s monthly ranking of the top podcasts among publishers it tracks. The Breakfast Club podcast leapt 13 positions during December, to finish as the 12th most-downloaded show. That is the highest position to date for the show. The New York Times-produced news podcast The Daily was the most downloaded and streamed show in December according to Podtrac.  Read more

The podcast industry did more than endure the unusual business climate last year. It thrived as advertisers and listeners continued to embrace on-demand audio. AdsWizz has released its annual Podcast Trends Report which shows there was an 81% increase in advertising impressions between January and September 2020. “All signs are pointing to podcasts playing a bigger part in the overall audio buying ecosystem,” the report says. Read more

It’s now official: SiriusXM Radio has become the exclusive provider of long-form, stroke-by-stroke coverage of the Masters Tournament, wrestling those rights away from Westwood One. Under a new deal with Augusta National Golf Club, the satcaster says it will produce and present live play-by-play broadcasts of all four days of 2021. The deal also includes a year-round podcast. Read more

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Content creators may see AM/FM radio, streaming audio and podcasts as distinctly different mediums. But to media buyers they’re often lumped together as audio and bought as part of a marketing campaign. “Audio – even AM/FM radio – is having a resurgence,” says Diana Anderson, Senior VP, Group Director, National Audio and Local Digital Activation of ad agency Carat. Read more

Ben Shapiro, whose politics-driven talker The Ben Shapiro Show was the fourth-biggest podcast on Podtrac’s most recent ranking of the most downloaded series, is taking a different path into the entertainment business. Rather than strike a deal to adapt content his The Daily Wire has produced, Shapiro says the company has launched its own entertainment division to create its own film and TV projects that will promote conservative ideals. Read more

YouTube star Colleen Ballinger, best known for her character Miranda Sings, is making the move to podcasting. She is teaming up with her husband, actor Erik Stocklin, to create a new Audioboom Originals series. The show is called Relax! and it will feature the couple discussing “anything, everything and sometimes nothing at all about their unique world” per an Audioboom announcement. Read more

PodcastOne has connected with a trio of well-known names from the world of sports to expand the company’s catalog of sports-focused shows. Super Bowl Champion Quarterback Brett Favre, TV pundit and former athlete Eric Bolling, and seven-time NBA Champion Robert Horry have teamed with PodcastOne to produce and distribute podcasts beginning this month. Read more

The music-focused Osiris Media has launched a new podcast hosted by rock and soul singer Maggie Rose. Salute the Songbird will feature conversations with Rose’s female musical heroes about their lives in and out of music with the aim to offer guidance for young artists starting their careers. “We are thrilled to start 2021 by welcoming our first Artist Spotlight show led by a female artist,” said RJ Bee, CEO of Osiris Media. Read more

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

The Christmas and New Year’s holiday download dip may not have been as steep in 2020 as in past years according to Podtrac data. If the numbers hold up, it will mirror a similar trend seen at Thanksgiving. Podtrac says downloads among publishers and podcasts it tracks were up five percent for the week of Dec. 28, 2020 to Jan. 3, 2021 compared to the prior week. Nearly all the big podcast genres had week-to-week gains. Read more

Salem Media Group is ringing in the New Year with an embrace of one of the fastest-growing parts of the audio market – podcasting. The company says it has formed Salem Podcast Network, a new entity that looks to capitalize on the content its team of conservative talk hosts creates.  Salem’s first podcast partner in this new venture is Dinesh D’Souza, a nationally known political commentator and author. His new podcast “Pardon Me!” will debut Jan. 11.  Read more

The pandemic may have put live shows on hold for podcasters, but many are finding other ways to monetize their shows beyond advertising. A growing number are selling podcast-themed merchandise – items that radio stations have long given away as free promotional swag. The Wall Street Journal says some shows are piling on the revenue by selling t-shirts for $30, hoodies for $60, earrings for $18 and soap for $10. Read more

Breaker, the four-year old podcast listening app that leverages social media interactions to help users find out which shows and episodes friends are consuming, is closing down as its team joins Twitter. The move follows Twitter’s expansion into audio last summer when it began allowing users to share audio clips.  Read more

Through a series of deals, partnerships and alliances, Evergreen Podcasts spent 2020 growing its catalog of shows to more than 65 podcasts. In an interview with the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, CEO Michael DeAloia said he expects to double that number in 2021 with a target of more than 120 series under its banner by year-end. DeAloia told the paper he sees Evergreen as the “next generation” of podcast networks. Read more

Monday, January 04, 2021

The number of podcasts ballooned in 2020 with the debut of new shows nearly triple the new shows debuts of 2019. The podcast search engine Listen Notes says 897,379 new podcasts debuted last year. That was a 186% increase compared to the 313,112 new podcasts that came onto the scene in 2019. That brought the number of new podcasts to 1,897,528 at year-end. And the number of episodes available for listeners totaled 91,075,724. Read more

Four years after television executive Hernan Lopez launched the podcast studio Wondery, he plans to exit the company when the sale to Amazon becomes final. Last week’s sale announcement came with word that Wondery COO Jen Sargent will manage the business for Amazon. Lopez will focus on a new foundation. Read more

Just a week after announcing it had hired investment banker J.P. Morgan as a financial adviser to review possible strategic transactions, LiveXLive says it has expanded the scope to include a wider list of potential outcomes – including a sale, a merger, a strategic acquisition, or a divestiture of some of its business units. LiveXLive is the parent of PodcastOne, Slacker Radio and the live event production services company React Presents. Read more

The acclaimed APM Reports investigative podcast In the Dark, whose three-year investigation and 20 podcast episodes helped lead to the overturning of a conviction of a Mississippi man on death row, has just given the industry a high-profile promotion. The CBS News program “60 Minutes” on Sunday showcased the case of Curtis Flowers and how the second season of In the Dark helped free him from prison. Read more

The New Year’s holiday included a year-end podcast award show as the Asian American Podcasters Association gave out its inaugural Golden Crane Podcast Awards. The event not only celebrates podcast excellence, but it is also geared to increasing the visibility of Asian and Asian American podcasters. Close to 100 submissions from across the globe, including Malaysia, India, Australia and England, entered to win the 15 categories offered in 2020. Read more

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

A three-month sale process has come to an end for Wondery, which has agreed to sell itself to Amazon. The tech giant has spent the past year building and launching its podcast business and the Wondery acquisition marks its largest investment in the medium to date. Terms of the deal – which has not yet closed – were not immediately released but earlier reports suggested Wondery could fetch a price tag of roughly $300 million. Read more

Edison Research released a ton of research studies in 2020, a year in which clear-eyed insights and roadmaps were more needed than ever. In a “10 for ‘20” webinar Thursday, Senior VP Tom Webster and Director of Research Laura Ivey presented what the firm considers to be the most impactful findings from their work this year. Following is a brief summary of the top audio-centric takeaways. Read more

This year was one marked by not only a presidential election but also a global pandemic and the biggest protest movement since the 1960s. For former Obama White House advisor Baratunde Thurston, there was probably no better time to launch a podcast like How to Citizen. On his iHeartPodcast Network show, Thurston challenges listeners to embrace civic engagement on a podcast that will bring in guests and leverage live-to-podcast elements. Read more

Actress Demi Moore records Dirty Diana in her bathroom. That may not be so different than a lot of other podcasters who in a work-from-home year have recorded episodes in closets and wherever else they need to go to get the best sound quality. But what is different is the level of interest by A-list actors and producers in podcast projects. With many film and television productions shutdown because of the pandemic, audio has become a growing creative outlet. Read more

After 26 years on broadcast radio, syndicated talk show host Michael Savage is preparing to start his life as a podcast host. His radio show will come to an end on Thursday (Dec. 31) with The Savage Nation Podcast his new home beginning with a special podcast on Friday, Jan. 1. Savage told listeners to expect even more “edge” as he frees himself from the constraints of “corporate broadcasting.” Read more

Midroll says it served a record high 1.8 billion podcast downloads between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30… platform Blubrry has become the latest company to target the fast-growing Indian market with the JioSaavn and Gaana … CbdMD, the maker of cannabis-based products, partners with Joe Rogan… Hollywood producer Ben Cooley is launching a new media company with podcasts part of the plan. Read more

Longtime Virginia radio hosts Larry Bly and Larry Dowdy are teaming up not on a new radio show but rather a podcast. Two Larry’s And a Mic features the air personalities discussing the music – much of it from the 1970s and 1980s – they have spent years playing on the radio. The two hosts met while working at top 40 WROV (1240). Read more

Today is the final issue for 2020 of Podcast News Daily. It has been quite a year for the industry, but also a proving ground that has demonstrated that even with rapidly changing media usage habits and upheaval in the ad business, podcasting has not only survived but thrived and grown. Thank you for making us part of your day and we look forward to bringing more podcast news in 2021. Happy New Year! Read more

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

As the year draws to a close, one of the developments that has played out in the podcast industry during 2020 has been a waking up of advertisers to the reach and marketing power that the medium offers. That is on full display in Magellan AI’s monthly update of the biggest podcast ad spenders, with traditional marketers like Bank of America, McDonald’s, and AT&T cracking the top ten. Read more

VSiN, the sports betting media network, is moving to iHeartRadio, effective Jan. 1. The Brian Musburger-founded company says the expansion of its partnership with iHeartMedia will bring free sports betting content to millions of listeners and includes a dedicated live streamed radio station, podcasts and betcasts. The VSiN Channel had been part of the SiriusXM lineup since 2017 and is being replaced there by SportsGrid Radio. Read more

Podcasters knew last week would bring a dip in downloads with the Christmas holiday disrupting normal media habits. Podtrac reports among publishers and podcasts it measures, overall downloads dropped 12% for the week of December 21-27 compared to the prior week. Despite a down week for downloads, the holiday week was not without growth. The History genre posted a 10% week-to-week increase in downloads last week. Read more

LiveXLive, the global livestream and on-demand audio platform, says it has hired investment banker J.P. Morgan as a financial adviser to review possible strategic transactions including acquisitions, strategic partnerships and other opportunities to grow its business. LiveXLive, which went public on Nasdaq in 2017, owns PodcastOne, Slacker Radio and React Presents. Read more

Mobile downloads grew once again last month for podcasts hosted by Libsyn. The company says 87.2% of all of its downloads in November went directly to a mobile device. That was up 0.9% compared to a month earlier. Among Libsyn-hosted shows, Walch said iOS had 4.6 downloads for each one on an Android device. Read more

Author and audio producer Joe Garner has launched a new audio-focused venture that will begin with release of the 12-episode podcast series We Interrupt This Broadcast. Garner wrote the best-selling book of the same name and his production company Garner Creative Concepts has produced more than a dozen multimedia book productions featuring personalities from entertainment, news, and sports. He is now casting his sights on podcasting. Read more

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Shondaland Audio, the alliance formed last year between television hitmaker Shonda Rhimes and iHeartMedia, is bringing actress Laverne Cox – best known for her role in “Orange Is the New Black” – to podcasting. She will host a series slated to debut in February. The companies began rolling out their first shows in August and more are on deck in 2021 including Shondaland Audio’s first scripted series. Read more

In a move to help diversify podcasting’s ranks, Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment have created a free training program for aspiring podcast editors from underrepresented groups. Eight applicants will be selected to participate. At the conclusion of the course, one student will be offered a staff editor position at Neon Hum. Read more