NewsBites2

SantaCast is a Christmas-themed podcast that’s just been released by iHeartPodcast Network. The episodes are short—running about three to five minutes apiece—and will be released each day through Christmas Day. The family-friendly podcast features "Santa" calling different kids from around the world (non-actors) asking them what they want out of this holiday season and why. In an email, an iHeart rep tells us SantaCast is “another example of all the creative liberty that content producers can take within the growing format.”

…Audible has expanded beyond audio books to include podcasts in recent years. The new year will bring a new chief executive at the Amazon-owned subsidiary. Bob Carrigan has been hired as Audible’s new CEO starting Jan. 2. He’ll report to founder Don Katz, who will become Executive Chairman where he’ll focus on Audible’s global content strategy. Carrigan most recently served as the Executive Chairman of Genscape, a provider of data and analytics to the global energy markets. Audible currently produces seven original podcasts including Hot Mic with Dan Savage and Where Should We Begin? with couples therapist Esther Perel.

...iHeartRadio Family is now available on Roku, Android TV (set to launch later this year) and Facebook Portal’s latest device, Portal TV, with support for new Portal tablets coming this January. Listeners can find their favorite podcast (like Disney’s Inside Frozen ll, or NPR Wow in the World), playlist station, or live radio stream that works for the whole family. iHeartRadio Family offers customizable parental controls that make it safe for young kids and pre-teens to use on their own.

…Apple Podcasts alerts producers looking to launch new shows that the holidays will bring a slowdown in the review process between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2. “Shows submitted during this time may not be reviewed within our regular timeframe of five business days,” it says in an email to podcasters. The slowdown doesn’t affect shows already available on Apple Podcasts. The company says new episodes will continue to be available within 24 hours.