WNYC Studios to Release Dolly Parton’s America Podcast



WNYC Studios will release the Dolly Parton’s America podcast sometime in Fall of 2019. It is a nine-part series that is not hosted by Dolly Parton, but it sounds like she will appear in the podcast. The podcast is about something bigger that the American music icon has unintentionally been connected with.

In this intensely divided moment, one of the few things everyone still seems to agree on is Dolly Parton – but why? The simple question leads to a deeply personal, historical, and musical rethinking of one of America’s great icons. Join us for a 9-part journey into the Dollyverse.

Dolly Parton’s America is hosted by Jad Abumrad, who is the Executive Producer and creator of Radiolab’s More Perfect, a podcast that explores how cases deliberated inside the rarified world of the Supreme Court affect our lives far away from the bench. Jad Abumrad “did most of his growing up in Tennessee, the state where Dollywood is located.

Shima Oliaee is a consulting producer at Radiolab, and the producer on the 9-part series Dolly Parton’s America. She is a first generation American born and raised in Nevada. She worked four seasons on the golden globe-winning Brooklyn Nine-Nine before joining the Radiolab team in 2017. Last year, she co-reported Radiolab’s sexual consent three-part series In the No, and co-produced the mini-series Unerased: A History of Conversion Therapy in America.

A trailer for Dolly Parton’s America was released on October 3, 2019. It is short, yet gives a really good glimpse into what the podcast is like. Fans of Dolly Parton will very likely be interested in this podcast. So will those who wonder why Dolly Parton has become a connection between Americans who have diverse and contradicting cultural values.


British Podcast Awards Launch £50,000 Funding Scheme



The British Podcast Awards have launched an initiative that offers financial support to podcasters to enhance their shows. It is called the BPA fund. Launching the fund is a £50,000 partnership with Wellcome to create an exciting new opportunity for podcasters and their listeners to champion conversations around how science affects our health, called The Pulse Award.

Co-founder Matt Hill said, “this award is a great opportunity for podcasts of all shapes and sizes to elevate their use of the latest scientific research. And the best thing is we’re not limiting this to factual or science podcasts – we welcome entries from all genres, from fiction to true crime.”

The Pulse Award will award podcasts with grants of up to £50,000 to make health-focused features, episodes, and short series that engages listeners in science and health research.

Imran Khan, Head of Public Engagement at Wellcome said: “Wellcome invests in science and health research, and we want everyone to be able to benefit from that. So it’s really important to us that the public feels they can engage with science and health research. Podcasts are an important and growing medium that can help that connection.”

Imran Khan continued, “When we launched Wellcome Global Monitor earlier this year, we found that people who feel like they benefit from science are seven times more likely to trust science than those who don’t feel that way. The Pulse Award will help us to address this gap by bringing more, and more diverse, people to the conversation about science and health.”

Those who would like to read more information, or who want to apply for the award, can do so at the British Podcast Awards website. The British Podcast Awards Fund will close applications on November 17, 2019. Successful applicants will be announced at the beginning of December of 2019. Listeners can expect to hear results in April of 2020.


Con Before the Storm Reveals World of Podcasts 2019 Panelists



Con Before the Storm is a fun event for fans of games made by Blizzard Entertainment. Every year since its beginning, Con Before the Storm takes place the night before the first day of BlizzCon. It includes the World of Podcasts event which has several  panels that include podcasters, streamers, and content creators who are there to talk about some of Blizzard’s games.

This year, there will be one panel, called Pod Before the Con that will be presented live on Twitch. Tune in from home on October 27, 2019, at 7pm ET. This panel includes:

  • Frazley – FrazlCast
  • Ali – All Things Azeroth and BlizzMates
  • Berzerker – Unshackled Fury
  • Klanker – Tauren & Goblin
  • Gerissar – Technically PvP
  • FrosteeFox – Frozen Fox Media

The other five panels will take place at Con Before the Storm on the second floor of the Anaheim Hilton, on October 31, 2019.

Blizzard Panel

  • Garret Weinzierl – The Angry Chicken and Into the Nexus
  • Perculia – Director at Wowhead
  • Terran Gregory – Cinematic Director for World of Warcraft
  • JR Cook – Co-Founder of BlizzPro, host of Well Met!, host of PodcastYo
  • Thyst – Co-host of Lagging Balls and Convert to Raid
  • Dredscythe – BlizzPro Diablo Site Manager, Host of Scythe and Shield: Rebirthed

Hearthstone Panel

  • Jocelyn Kearney – Co-host of For Azeroth, and The Gamers Inn
  • Mageadeath – Co-Host of Doctor 3
  • Andrew Brown – Host of The Happy Hearthstone
  • Nicholas “DeckTech” Weiss –
  • Botticus – Hearthstone writer and editor at The Tavern Blawg
  • Steve Lubitz – Host of Off Curve

Overwatch Panel

  • Totemlydrunk – Host of OWLNshow, Heroes Never Die, and OWL By the Numbers
  • Ramses – Podcast host at Mash Those Buttons Network
  • Ednar – Host of Heroes Never Die, and OWL By the Numbers
  • D – Host of Omnic Weekly
  • Blevins – Host of High Noon Podcast and Preediction

World of Warcraft – BFA Panel

  • Pat Krane – Convert to Raid
  • Towelliee – Twitch Streamer Trollinghigh
  • Max (Limit GM) – GM/LR of Limit, Twitch Streamer
  • Raven – Co-Host of Girls Gone WoW
  • Shoeboots – Merely a Setback
  • Jason Lucas – Co-Host of The Starting Zone

Warcraft Classic Panel

  • Josh Corbett – Countdown to Classic
  • Athalus – Warcraft Radio
  • Platinum – Platinum WoW on YouTube
  • Melderon – Defcamp & Melderon TV on YouTube
  • Defcamp – Defcamp & Melderon TV on YouTube
  • Ayle – Twitch Streamer Ayle Gaming

Spotify Explains How to Make Your Own Podcast Playlists



Spotify announced that in the true spirit of Audio First, Spotify users can combine music and podcasts on the same playlists. Previously, playlists were exclusive to music.

With this recently released, frequently requested functionality, users can build playlists of podcasts, or add podcasts to existing playlists for a mixed-media experience. Users can also set up a playlist or multiple podcasts in a row – perfect for the long drive or maybe a run – or integrate their favorite songs with news, comedy, or sports podcasts.

Spotify points out that these new opportunities for creativity are as easy as making a playlist full of music. Those who want to learn how to do that can follow a step-by-step guide that Spotify put together to walk users through the process. Once you finish making a playlist of both podcasts and music, you will see that new playlist under the “Playlists” tab in Music.

It should be noted that if you are using Spotify on your computer desktop, you can stream the playlist you’ve made on mobile that include podcasts. You cannot, however, make a playlist with a podcast in it from your desktop – yet.


Deezer Adds 5 New Global Podcast Company Partnerships



Deezer announced it has entered into global partnerships with five podcasting companies including Libsyn, Ausha, Podomatic, Blubrry, and Simplecast, in addition to adding “tech updates” from existing partners Audioboom and Voxnest.

The company’s new global podcast partnerships cover everything from content to podcast recording, distribution, and analytics.

Deezer has partnered with five companies:

  • Libsyn, a podcast publisher with a monthly audience of 116 million and more than 64,000 podcasts.
  • Ausha, which claims to be the first podcast hosting platform in France with over 800 podcasters and features like video clip editing, private podcasts and comprehensive statistics.
  • Podomatic, which provides podcast creators with “everything you need to start and grow a podcast,” including recording, publishing, distribution, and tracking.
  • Blubrry, which provides podcast hosting, stats and the PowerPress Podcasting Plugin.
  • Simplecast, a podcast hosting, distribution and analytics platform that has reportedly doubled its amount of podcasts and subscriptions in the last year.

Two of Deezer’s existing podcast partners, Audioboom, a global on-demand audio and podcasting distribution platform, and Voxnest’s Spreaker, a podcasting platform with over 50,000 monthly active creators, have also improved their “technical solution” on Deezer.

Deezer’s podcast push follows the huge investment in this sector made by Spotify as part of its “Audio First” content strategy revealed in February, which has included the acquisition of three podcast companies, Anchor and Gimlet Media (for $343 million) as well as Parcast.


Period Tracker App Clue Announces Launch of Hormonal Podcast



Hello Clue, the world’s fastest-growing female health app with more than 12 million users in over 190 countries, announces the launch of its podcast, Hormonal. The weekly podcast, hosted by author Rhea Ramjohn and produced by Kassandra Sundt, formerly of Gimlet and WBUR, will explore the different ways in which hormones affect our lives.

The first season will aim to solve the mystery of hormones. Each week, Rhea Ramjohn will be speaking to scientists, doctors, and health experts, delving into questions like: what are hormones? And why saying “she’s being hormonal” makes no sense. With the help of guest experts, Rhea will also explore the different ways in which hormones affect various aspects of our day-to-day lives – from skin health, through to stress levels, culture, and sports performance.

The first episode of Hormonal, featuring guest expert Randi Hutter Epstein M.D. M.P.H, of Yale University, will look at the history of hormones, and the one-hundred-year-old science of endocrinology. Future episodes will explore the different ways the menstrual cycle affects the appearance and elasticity of the skin, how pollution can change the body’s responses to hormones and whether PMS is real, or the result of sexism.

Guests include medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Tiffany Clay; Dr. Virginia J. Vitzhumn, Kinsey Institute Senior Scientist, Clue Director of Scientific Research, and Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University, and Yale’s Katrina Karkazis.

Kassandra Sundt, executive producer of Hormonal, comments: “Podcasts are immersive and intimate, and frankly there’s no one else doing a podcast quite like Hormonal. I’m excited for listeners, who might just be casual users of the app, to find out more about what Clue can offer. I’ve learned so much since starting this project, and I hope listeners will, too!”


ABC Podcast Survey Reveals How Engaged Podcast Audiences Are



ABC’s 2019 Podcast Survey was presented at Australia’s premier podcast industry conference OzPod. The Survey revealed essential findings for Australian podcasters on how to reach more listeners.

The survey revealed that Australian podcast listeners are very engaged. For those who listened to a podcast in the previous week, an average of six podcast episodes were listened to.

However, when it comes to choosing podcasts, listeners have declared that they are inundated with choice. The research shows that 1 in 2 podcast listeners (51%), claim to be overwhelmed by the increasing choice of podcasts available in a growing marketplace.

The ABC podcast survey, completed by more than 2,500 podcast listeners, also offered the following insights into podcast listeners and their behavior:

  • Podcast listeners also revealed they prefer original content rather than catch-up radio podcasts, with the majority (76%) of episodes listened to in the past month being original podcasts.
  • Podcast listeners continue to be driven by audio that entertains, teaches, or informs them.
  • Comedy podcasts appeal more to a younger audience (14-34) while Society and Culture and Health and Lifestyles appeal more to an older audience (55+).
  • Word of mouth is the number 1 means of discovering new podcasts. But when choosing between options, listeners are most motivated to try new podcasts from the Episode Descriptions (including Healthline, 71%) and Recommendations (70%).
  • ‘At Home’ remains the most common location for podcast listening (76%), although a large proportion of podcast listeners aged between 14-34 are listening to podcasts while they are out and about.

Spreaker Adds Mic Controls to Spreaker Studio



Spreaker has added newly launched Mic Controls that give Stitcher users an easier way of creating professional level audio. This feature is available on Spreaker Studio for iOS and Android devices.

It may seem like a simple attribute but volume can have a real impact on your program and how your message is conveyed. Use your voice volume to set the atmosphere for your show, create intrigue, mystery and deception with a quietly placed voice, show strength, force or aggression through a loud booming vocal section. We know you’ll enjoy experimenting with the possibilities.

The new mic controls give users an extra level of control over how various voices and recordings sound. Combined with Stitcher’s auto-ducking feature (which makes any track you’re playing automatically lower when you start speaking) – you’ll be able to give a professional edge to your podcasts.

There are instructions on the blog post about Mic Controls on the Stitcher website that discusses the new feature. It is provided in a step-by-step format. Stitcher wants everyone to have the possibility to create, publish, distribute, and analyze professional sounding recordings. The new Mic Controls feature is one of many from Stitcher, including one-click/ tap distribution, trim and crop tools, and Siri Shortcuts.


Adblock Radio is an Adblocker for Live Radio Streams and Podcasts



Adblock Radio is a service that lets you listen to your favorite broadcasts while being able to choose if you want to hear ads – or if you do not want to hear ads. It was created by Alexandre Storelli.

Adblock Radio detects audio ads with machine-learning and Shazam-like techniques. The core engine is open source: use it in your radio product! You are welcome to join efforts to support more radios and podcasts.

Adblock Radio was built to enable listeners to skip ad interruptions on their favorite webradios. The algorithm is open source. Those who are interested can read more about that in the Adblock Radio website.

Alexandre Storelli gives some explanations about why he created something that would block ads. First, there’s the loudness war. Storelli wrote: Advertisers exploit auditory artifacts, such as dynamic range compression and equalization to make their ads stand out of those of others despite not being mathematically louder.

He also feels that ads try to trigger impulse buying by exploiting our emotions and serendipitous discovery, short circuiting our rational thoughts. He feels that these mind tricks are manipulative and disrespectful.

It seems to me that podcasts that are played on radio stations are likely to be the most affected by Adblock Radio. Many people who listen to their local radio station’s podcast, while it is being broadcast live, have heard some very loud ads in between the content. But, Adblock Radio could also affect podcasters who have too many ads in their shows.

Overall, the purpose of Adblock Radio is not to force podcasters, and podcasts that are on the radio, to lose their monetization. Alexandre Storelli hopes it will instead “help companies to develop alternative business models for radio and podcast lovers who do not want ads.”