…Facebook is reportedly looking at expanding into podcasting. Few specifics are known, but the New York Times cites three sources who said the social media company is exploring podcasting as one of several new ventures. Others include creating new travel, workplace and newsletter creation tools. The insiders said audio services are especially attractive to the company, suggesting based on the information Facebook has on users it could plug podcasts into someone’s News Feed. The report says the projects are all in their early stages and may never come to fruition. Facebook declined to comment.
…Podcorn, a service that links marketers with podcasters with a self-service platform, has launched. The company says it will allow brands to more easily work with hundreds of targeted shows to create branded content. Podcorn says it aims to help the estimated 85% of shows that don’t currently monetize their content make some money Since beta-launching last month, Podcorn says it has placed “hundreds of thousands” of dollars’ worth of ads. . Co-founded by Agnes Kozera and David Kierzkowski, Podcorn has raised $2.2 million in a seed round in August led by Global Founders Capital, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, 500 Startups, Correlation Ventures, Alumni Ventures Group, among others.
...Spreaker is “refreshing” its podcast categories to bring its listings in line with changes made to the Apple Podcast categories four months ago. The move means the addition of ten new categories, including True Crime, History and Fiction, and several new subcategories. “The increased subcategories allow producers to get super specific when listing your show—more specific targeting, means improved listener discoverability and in turn increased monetization potential,” it told podcasters in announcement. Spreaker says the move will make it easier for listeners to find shows that suit their interests. Apple updated its podcast categories during the summer, in the first major overhaul since 2011.
..ESPN’s MMA Show podcast is taking its mixed martial arts show to Las Vegas where it will combine a live taping of the Ariel Helwani hosted podcast with a different sort of competition. Four UFC fighters will go head-to-head in a trivia challenge for the second Helwani Nose Order Trivia belt – UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic earned the first-ever trivia belt in June. A meet and greet for fans in attendance with Helwani will take place immediately following the podcast taping slated for Dec. 13. Ticket prices range from $20 to $45. The live podcast taping will be part of ESPN’s onsite coverage of UFC 245.