… TV personality and journalist Mara Schiavocampo is launching a new podcast on the iHeartPodcast Network. Her show is called The Trend Reporter in which she’ll dole out information about wellness, beauty, style and fitness trends. “A total style junkie obsessed with all things fashion, makeup, beauty and wellness, Schiavocampo gives listeners only the best and most honest takes on trends today,” the show’s preview said. Schiavocampo is a New York-based correspondent for ABC News.

… ESPN and Netflix are looking to leverage the success of its Michael Jordan docuseries “The Last Dance” into podcasting. The Verge reports the companies are working with Spotify to create podcast and music playlists related to the 10-episode television series. The podcast playlist will be curated by editors. It’s part of the streaming service’s Podcast Playlist feature that debuted last month. The playlists will be curated by a team of playlist editors from around the globe who are listening to hundreds of hours of podcasts and grouping the best episodes into topical playlists.

… If a podcast is on YouTube, is it a podcast? The lines have been getting blurry, according to Edison Research. Spotify is reportedly looking to bridge the gap as it begins testing video-based podcasts with YouTube stars Zane Hijazi and Heath Hussar. The Verge reports that for half the people who watch their podcasts on its platform the video version will be played, not the audio-only file. The three-episode test is being conducted worldwide, and more video podcasts are planned. Spotify is already serving music videos to users for some songs.

… The impact on media habits isn’t confined to the U.S. Triton Digital reports the top 100 podcasts it tracks in the 25-country Latin American region had a combined 18.2 million downloads from March 16 through April 12. That was a 6% decrease compared to the prior survey period that covered the pre-pandemic weeks of February 17 and March 15. The report also demonstrates the growth of podcasting in Brazil as Triton also reports a new No. 1 podcast in that region as Radios Grupo Globo’s O Assunto overtook on-demand version of the La Corneta (“The Bugle”) show on Prisa Radio’s Mexican top 40 radio network “Los 40.” See the full ranker HERE

... Acast has partnered with JioSaavn, South Asia’s largest audio streaming platform, to enable it to access Acast’s global network of shows. The partnership also gives the company access to Acast’s infrastructure and the latest advances in podcast technology. Acast and JioSaavn will align on one central mission, which is to popularize podcasts in South Asia. JioSaavn’s already has more than 104 million monthly active users. But that’s a small fraction of the 1.3 billion potential consumer market. “We’ve been aware of the changing audio landscape in India for some time and, in JioSaavn, we’ve found the biggest and most impactful audio streaming platform in the region,” said Acast’s Chief Business and Strategy Officer Leandro Saucedo.

… Podtrac reports downloads of Kids & Family category podcasts are up 19% so far this year among the publishers it tracks, and like a lot of companies Spotify has been growing its kid-focused content. The latest addition is a deal with Wizarding World Digital that will bring the chapters of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone/Sorcerer’s Stone” into podcasting. They’ll be voiced by actors including Daniel Radcliffe, Dakota Fanning, and Eddie Redmayne. Harry Potter At Home Readings will have 17 episodes that will be released through mid-summer. Videos of the recordings will be featured on Wizarding World. “The collection of free initiatives designed to help bring the magic of Harry Potter to children, parents, and caregivers in lockdown,” it said in the announcement.