Podcasters faced with the question of whether there’s a business in the medium are now armed with a powerful retort: the folks at Harvard think so. Specifically, the management magazine Harvard Business Review is a believer. After testing an expansion into podcast curation last year, HBR says it is now launching a full-fledged network of podcasts vetted and approved by HBR’s editorial review team.
HBR Presents will have at least ten podcasts in its lineup including Cold Call, which translates Harvard Business School's case studies into podcasts, and FOMO Sapiens with Patrick McGinnis that talks to business leaders about how they choose from among the many opportunities in their busy lives. HBR Presents was piloted in October 2018 with one podcast, After Hours, which has seen downloads grow 700% during the past six months as part of the HBR Presents network. HBR will not only provide distribution, but also advertising sales and audience development support to shows that are part of its network. They’ve already lined up sponsors for the shows including American Express, First Republic Bank, Deloitte Digital, LinkedIn, and SAS.
HBR isn’t exactly new to podcasting. Its flagship HBR IdeaCast launched 13 years ago and along with its Dear HBR and Women at Work podcasts the magazine now regularly receives more than two million monthly downloads to the three podcasts it directly produces.
“We know there’s an appetite for even more high-quality audio programming from HBR,” editor-in-chief Adi Ignatius said in the announcement. “HBR Presents is a unique, hyper-focused network of business podcasts that will allow us to reach our audience in different ways – and connect partners and sponsors with HBR’s highly engaged listeners.”