All posts by Jen Thorpe

KoKo NYC Offers a Podcasting Class for Kids



KoKo NYC provides art-based building and technology classes in schools and after school programs throughout New York City. Many classes utilize open source technology and/or simple components such as littleBits to teach kids circuitry, programing, and other scientific concepts through the process of creation.

Starting in Fall of 2017, KoKo NYC is offering two new classes for after school programs. One is called Stories And Sounds.  It is for children who are in grades 4 and up. It is a podcasting class for kids. The class description says:

In this workshop, we will discover the fundamentals of audio production. Using portable recorders, students will have an opportunity to create narrative-based and musical audio pieces, learning recording and editing processes along the way. We will capture “wild sounds,” sounds of New York City that surround us every day but we never truly hear, and edit them into musical masterpieces using Garageband.

Students will also learn interviewing techniques and create profiles of their fellow classmates, learning how to make a story come to life using the power of their own voices. At the end of the course, students will have a chance to share their sounds with each other in a collaborative Dropbox folder, and walk away with valuable audio recording and editing skills of their own.

Those who would like more information are asked to please contact Lea at Lea@kokonyc.org.


Podcast Detroit is a Podcast Incubator



Podcast Detroit is a podcast incubator. They can help you to start a podcast of your own. Podcast Detroit makes it easy for you to put out content on your terms, whether you want a weekly 2-hour show, a monthly 15-minute show, or anything in between.

Podcast Detroit was born in July of 2015. In May of 2016, they moved to their Royal Oak location. They have four studios ready for your use. Three studios are for up to eight people, and one studio is for four people.

Podcast Detroit recently opened a new studio in the historic Corktown district of downtown Detroit where they offer the same services as they do at their Royal Oak location. This location also has green screen, photography shoots, and live in-studio band performances.

For individuals, Podcast Detroit charges $25 an hour and an additional $15 per hour if you need a board operator at the Royal Oak location. If you want to create a podcast for a business there is a separate form to fill out.

Podcast Detroit says that you 100% own your own content. That’s always a good thing to know before you get started.

In addition to recording your podcast, it is possible to have a photographer shoot professional quality photos, or to have a videographer shoot in the studio while you are recording your podcast. Podcast Detroit also has a connection with Fusion Marketing, where you can get a discount on graphics and web design work, print materials, and more.

In addition, Podcast Detroit does podcast meetups. Check their website, or their Facebook page, for more details about where and when these happen.


Spotify Confirmed it Parted Ways with Tom Calderone



Tom Calderone was Spotify’s Head of Video and Podcasting Operations. Bloomberg reported that Spotify confirmed Tom Calderone’s departure in an email. It appears the reason is because Spotify’s initial round of programs failed to catch on with audiences.

Bloomberg also reported that Spotify will focus its video efforts on Rap Cavier, which is Spotify’s most popular playlist, Rock This, and other features.

With the move, Spotify is narrowing its video ambitions. Calderone, the former head of cable network VH1, commissioned a dozen series from producers including Tim Robbins and Russell Simmons. He also oversaw podcasts, an area of growing importance at the world’s largest paid music service. Now the company is making clearer that it wants videos on the service to stay closer to the music industry.

According to Bloomberg, Spotify’s investment in podcasting continues to grow. Spotify has ads in Reply All and The Bill Simmons Podcast. Bloomberg previously reported that Spotify plans to announce a new slate of original podcasts soon.

If you want to look at this in a positive light, it appears that Spotify is not abandoning podcasts entirely.  It sounds to me like we can expect upcoming Spotify podcasts to have some connection with the music industry.


The Academy of Podcasters 2017 Award Winners



The Academy of Podcasters has a mission to celebrate and honor the achievements of contributors to the podcast community. The 2017 Academy of Podcasters Awards & Hall of Fame Ceremony was held at Podcast Movement 2017. A list of the official winners of the 2017 Academy of Podcasters Awards has been posted.

The 2017 Winners are:

  • Arts – Twenty Thousand Hertz
  • Business – Stacking Benjamins
  • Comedy – Comedy Bang Bang
  • Education – The Brookings Cafeteria
  • Fictional – Podcastle
  • Food – Food Non Fiction
  • Games & Hobbies – Drunks & Dragons
  • Health – Dr. Drew
  • History – Ben Franklin’s World
  • Kids & Family – Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian
  • Music – Song Exploder
  • News & Politics – In The Dark
  • Religion & Spirituality – Meditation Minis
  • Science & Medicine – Brainstuff
  • Society & Culture – Stuff You Should Know
  • Sports & Recreation – Something to Wrestle
  • Technology – Note to Self
  • TV & Film – The Blacklist Exposed

A podcaster qualifies as a member of the Academy of Podcasters by either being an award recipient, being inducted into the Hall of Fame, or via appointment by the Board. The 2017 awards ceremony included the induction of five legends into the Podcast Hall of Fame.


The New Media Summit Helps you Leverage the Power of New Media



The New Media Summit will take place on September 22-24, 2017, in San Diego, California. It is the only event where you are guaranteed to connect personally with some of the world’s most popular podcasters and bloggers and leave with bookings in hand.

The New Media Summit is a brand new conference for coaches, authors, speakers, holistic practitioners, and entrepreneurs to receive detailed training on leveraging, and monetizing, the power of new media…and to have guaranteed private, 1:1 meetings with today’s leading ‘Icons of Influence’ who will be there for one specific reason… to meet YOU and find guests to feature on their shows!

It will be held at the Paradise Resort & Spa in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Diego. You can register now through the New Media Summit website. At the time I am writing this, there are only 30 seats left.

A Regular Ticket costs $2,997.00 (USD). The New Media Summit website states that when you attend, you will receive over $10,000 in bonuses with your registration. More details about that can be found on the New Media Summit website.


Millennial has been Discontinued



PRX and Radiotopia announced that Megan Tan, host of Millennial had made the decision to discontinue production of the podcast. The show began three years ago, and lasted for three seasons.

Millennial was a podcast about coming-of-age. Megan Tan was the creator and host of Millennial, which was a Radiotopia podcast based in her closet in Portland, Maine. Ben Severance was the executive producer of Millennial and is the founder of the production company Timber & Frame. Millennial was produced by Megan Tan and Ned Donovan and edited by Julie Shapiro.

Millennial started as a podcast about the intimate details of Megan Tan’s life as she navigated the world post-college graduation. As a constant focus on herself became untenable, Megan shifted to telling coming-of-age stories of other people (in season two). In doing so, the show’s initial intent had been transformed, and making regularly produced episodes became more challenging.

As such, Megan Tan made the difficult decision to bring Millennial to a close. The final episode is number 47, which is titled “Saying Goodbye”. You can find it, as well as previous episodes, on the Millennial website.  At the time I am writing this, Millennial is still available on iTunes.


Anchor Introduces a Simple Way to Edit Audio



Anchor announced that they have made changes that will make it easier to edit audio on Anchor. They were getting a lot of feedback from people asking why they cannot edit audio before adding it to their station. Interestingly, the solution to this problem came from something Anchor recently updated.

When we introduced Anchor Videos features a few weeks back, we started automatically transcribing audio so our users could easily convert their segments into something digestible and sharable on social media. It occurred to us that this same transcription could be leveraged to design the simple, intuitive, mobile-first experience we had been looking for.

In short, Anchor noticed that when people are editing audio, they are basically deciding which words and phrases they wanted to include – and which ones to exclude. This process was already available for Anchor users who wanted to edit their Anchor Videos. Now, audio on Anchor can be edited the same way.

You can now edit call-ins, and other people’s segments before adding them to your own station or podcast. Before adding your audio, choose a starting word and an ending word, and you’re done. Anchor will discard the rest of the audio and just add the part you want your listeners to hear.

Anchor sees this as a first step towards making audio easier to edit on mobile. They will be adding more features in the near future. Their philosophy is: audio creation on Anchor will always focus on intuitiveness, and the actual content you care about – not a technical representation of the audio file that happens to contain it.


Find Podcasts with Ease with Spreaker’s New Home Page



Spreaker has made changes to their home page in order to make it easier for people to find podcasts. The Spreaker home page now has a grouping of podcasts that fit a specific category.

This includes “Featured This Week”, which I think could influence podcasters to make a goal of getting their podcast into that category on Spreaker’s home page.

Spreaker describes their new home page as “your map to navigating that immense sea of audio content.” Not only will podcast listeners benefit from the new layout, but so will podcast producers. Spreaker points out “With featured podcasts, curated lists you’ll love, and content based on where you’re located, the new home page offers an effortless podcast-searching experience.”

We’ve narrowed things down to a few key selections that can help kick off your search for more podcasts, namely featured shows, curated lists, and more clearly defined categories. Podcasters, these are all ideal places to get your show prominently spotlighted on spreaker.com, so keep that in mind when working on your show’s general presentation. Artwork that’s well-made and appealing titles and descriptions, as well as solid content, is what will get you considered for a spot at the top.

Scrolling through the Spreaker home page feels a bit like scrolling through Netflix, in search of new content to check out. Each has a bunch of different categories that may (or may not) match your personal interests. Some of the categories are recommended by websites outside of Spreaker. It is clearly noted, and you can take that into consideration as you browse.

Although Spreaker made it clear that all the categories are “ideal places to get your show prominently spotlighted at Spreaker.com”, I think the one that will get the most attention is the “Featured This Week” category. I predict it will be treated the way Apple’s “New and Noteworthy” is – with marketers promising podcasters that they can get their podcast into that category.


Radio Atlantic – A New Podcast From The Atlantic



Radio Atlantic is the first podcast released by The Atlantic. The podcast is hosted by Jeffrey Goldberg and is co-hosted by Matt Thompson and Alex Wagner. The choice of theme song for Radio Atlantic is an interesting story.

In 1861, a New England abolitionist named Julia Ward Howe, moved by the sight of thousands of blue coats massing outside Washington, D.C., wrote a martial and stirring poem that palced God on the side of the Union cause. She sent her poem to James T. Fields, the editor of The Atlantic. He agreed to publish it, and paid her $4 for her effort. The poem had no name, so Fields, a full-service editor, devised one for himself. In February of 1862, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” appeared on the front cover of the magazine.

Jeffrey Thompson is the Editor-in Chief of The Atlantic. Matt Thompson is the executive editor of The Atlantic. Alex Wagner a writer for The Atlantic and a CBS News Anchor. It was Matt Thompson who suggested the use of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” as the music for Radio Atlantic, noting that it was The Atlantic’s “theme song.”

Radio Atlantic is a weekly flagship podcast from The Atlantic. In it, The Atlantic’s top editors sit down with leading voices to explore what’s happening in the world, how things became the way they are, and where they’re going next.

The Trailer for Radio Atlantic was launched on July 11, 2017. Since then, seven full episodes have been released. The most recent is Episode seven, “Are Smartphones Harming Our Kids?” In this episode, they question if mobile devices are taking a toll on our children’s mental health.

Previous episodes included a variety of topics including: “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, religious expression, smart machines taking over the workforce, North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, “alternative facts” and the aftermath of what happened in Charlottesville. Several episodes include well informed guests who contribute to the conversation.