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The Most Powerful People in Podcasting - 2021

Rival apps have led Apple to dedicate more resources to podcasting and Ben Cave, Apple’s Global Head of Podcasts, has been leading the charge. That has meant big moves such as launching shows to help promote Apple TV+, the debut of Apple Podcast Subscriptions, as well as smaller content-focused steps such as the addition of Apple Podcasts Spotlight, a new monthly editorial franchise that showcases creators. 

Radio personality Charlamagne Tha God’s The Black Effect Podcast Network, which he created in a partnership with iHeartMedia, has emerged this year as a destination for content for Black listeners produced by Black creators. MTV veteran Dollie Bishop is the driving force as she oversees the network’s team of producers and editorial direction.

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Podcast Power Players - 2021

Consolidation has been rampant in podcasting during the past year and the company that Todd Cochrane launched in 2005 as RawVoice/Blubrry remains a holdout. Rather than selling, Blubrry has rolled out new features and updates, and become more aggressive in its targeting of the corporate podcast market. Cochrane says there has always been a need for private internal podcasts, but the pandemic and work-from-home offered them a big opportunity.

As advertising has become more important to podcasters, so too have the software and systems that power it. That has meant a growing business for Veritone One as more podcast publishers use Veritone’s Artificial Intelligence-powered content search and analysis application to ingest, index, organize and analyze content. Veritone has also developed proprietary podcast buying and podcast ad performance tools used by advertisers.

Barstool Sports is increasingly turning its attention toward gaming after its acquisition by Penn National Gaming, the casino operator and online betting company. How that will develop for its podcasts will be up to CEO Erika Nardini.  The roughly 40 million downloads it has each month offer it another way to promote its sports betting products. Even without live sports for most of 2020, was Barstool’s biggest revenue year to date.