Category Archives: Podcast News

Westwood One and Imperative Entertainment Launch TRUE



CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One and Imperative Entertainment premiered TRUE a weekly podcast that features often weird, but always true stories of strange events and unforgettable moments. Each episode explores unusual, obscure, sometimes funny, sometimes creepy stories. Stories that you won’t believe that they’re real… but they are, because they’re TRUE.

The podcast series debuted on September 9, 2020, on all major podcast platforms. Westwood One partners with Imperative Entertainment to distribute, market, and monetize all their existing and forthcoming podcasts.

New episodes include topics such as:

  • ‘Balloon Boy’ – In October 2009, the Heene family claimed their six-year-old son was trapped in a homemade helium-filled gas balloon shaped to resemble a flying saucer.
  • ‘Pigeon King’ – The story of how Arlan Galbraith used pigeons to scam millions of dollars from small town farmers, mostly Mennonites, Amish, and Hutterites, across Canada and the U.S.
  • ‘Real-life Superheroes’ – Batman. Superman. Wonder Woman. Spider Man. The Avengers. The Fantastic Four. When we think of superheroes, these are usually our go-to figures from popular culture. In recent years, a unique cohort of concerned citizens from around the world has drawn inspiration from the big screen and comics alike.

Erik Krosby is the creator, host and producer of the series and Jason Hoch, President of Imperative Entertainment’s Podcast Division, is an Executive Producer.

TRUE marks the seventh series from Imperative Entertainment’s podcast division. Podcast series include In the Red Clay, The Syndicate, American Skyjacker: The Final Flight of Martin McNally, The Baron of Botox, Boomtown, and Gangster House.


iVoox Launches iVoox Plus – First Spanish Language Podcast Subscription Service



The leading Spanish language audio on-demand platform launches a new pioneering subscription model in the podcast world, with the most exclusive content in Spanish.

The more than 5 million iVoox users will be able to access a catalog of more than 10,000 exclusive episodes from the best shows, which will increase every week.

With this new service, that generates income for podcasters regardless of the number of listeners they have, iVoox complements the rest of the monetization initiatives already developed by the platform. iVoox will have already have distributed close to one million USD among the podcast producers at the end of the year.

Maintains the company’s commitment to lead the professionalization of the podcast ecosystem, which began 3 years ago, offering a wide and diverse quality content.

The Spanish audio on-demand platform launches iVoox Plus the first podcast subscription service for listeners allowing the podcaster to generate revenues from its content. This new service will add to the podcasters’ revenue already generated thanks to the audience direct support in the Subscriptions for Fans scheme.

By launching iVoox Plus, the platform adds access to Premium features and all the exclusive content in a single subscription. So far, this content could only be accessed individually.

Unlimited entertainment

iVoox Plus has the best selection of exclusive podcasts in Spanish. Through a subscription payment of USD 9.99 / month, users will be able to access all the platform free content, as well as a catalog of more than 10,000 extra episodes. New content will be added every week.

Offering more than 20,000 hours of unique content, iVoox Plus includes all the exclusive audios of the successful shows from iVoox Originals, such as La Tercera Hora of Días Extraños by Santiago Camacho; the episodes of La Órbita de Endor; the mysteries of Iker Jiménez in Cuarto Milenio and Milenio Live; the content of Casus Belli; the best audio stories of Noviembre Nocturno or the political analysis of the journalist Díaz Villanueva, in La ContraHistoria and La ContraCrónica.

iVoox Plus also features extra episodes from other shows with a successful background in the platform, such as ‘NFL en estado puro’, with all the news from the largest American football league; ‘Histocast’, covering geopolitics and history or ‘Noches de Terror’, based on horror and mystery stories.

A new monetization source for content creators

iVoox is the only podcast platform that allows podcasters to grow their revenues as well as their audience, since episodes reach a user base of more than 5 million recurring users. The platform currently offers the iVoox Originals acceleration program and Subscriptions for Fans, a monetization scheme where more than 1,200 podcasts participate today and which by the end of the year will have shared-out close to 1 million USD among podcasters.

From now on the content creator benefits from a new monetization tool without being forced to choose between money or audience, unlike models offered by other platforms. This reward model aims to benefit all podcasters based on their effort and involvement with iVoox. Therefore, the revenues from iVoox Plus will be shared equally between the company and the content creators. Content creators will receive an individual amount despite their plays, and another amount proportional to their audience and the amount set in the price of their content for fans.

Thanks to this revenue share scheme the podcasters included in iVoox Plus will generate revenues automatically. In this sense, not only programs with millions of listeners will be able to earn money, but also those new high-quality shows that are looking for their niche market, even if they have a limited audience.

Juan Ignacio Solera, founder of the company, explains that ‘in iVoox we continue working to facilitate that podcasters can live off from their passion’, and this new tool is ‘an important step to achieve it’. “aPodcasters will continue to receive revenues from their supporters, and from now on ‘they will also generate revenues from iVoox Plus coming from the long queue of listeners who also like a show, but not enough to give it direct economic support.”

Enjoy iVoox to the limit

In addition to access to the largest exclusive catalog of Spanish-speaking shows, iVoox Plus includes all the Premium features available so far:listening without advertising, listening point synchronization among devices, enhancing sound quality and volume and car mode access.

These advantages are added to the unique functionalities that the iVoox app already offers on its free version, perfect for discovering shows according to the user’s tastes and through its recommendation system, curated playlists of episodes, smart lists updated daily with new content and much more.

In addition to listening to shows and live radio, the platform encourages communication between podcasters and listeners through comments on episodes and publications. Also being able to enrich the content with videos, references, presentations and other complementary materials that can only be found through iVoox.


Frequency Podcast Network Announces Fall Slate of Original Podcasts



Whether you’re tuning in to tune out or listening in to learn more about what’s happening in the world today, Rogers Sports & Media’s Frequency Podcast Network unveils new original series this Fall for every taste.

Building on its critically-acclaimed and award winning podcasts, Frequency Podcast Network launches seven new beginning on Sept. 7, including Canadian Politics is Boring, Beyond Style Matters with Jeanne Beker, Parkdale Haunt, The Hopeful, Possibilities with Hina Khan, The Big Story + The Narwhal, and Paradigm.

All series and exciting extras can be found on Frequency Podcast Network, Apple, Spotify, and everywhere podcasts are available.

2020 FALL SLATE

Canadian Politics is Boring – Or is it? Launched on Monday, Sept. 7, join the hilarious journey through Canada’s political history as new Canadian Rhys Waters attempts to convince his friend Jesse Harley, an average Canadian who dislikes politics, that our political history is actually a fiery rollercoaster full of murder, double crossing, and infamy. Who knew?

Beyond Style Matters with Jeanne Beker – Are you having trouble navigating the fashion world? Launching Monday, Sept. 14, join Today’s Shopping Choice host and fashion icon Jeanne Beker as she explores the many reasons why your “Style Matters.” Beker covers a wide range of topics including ageism in fashion, creating a signature style, and the history of handbags – but not without a few expert guests. Joining Beker on the series are actress Kim Cattrall, fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi, celebrity stylist Brad Goreski, TV host and make up artist Jay Manuel, former model and judge of Canada’s Next Top Model Stacey McKenzie, and more!

Parkdale Haunt – Launching on Monday, Sept. 28, Parkdale Haunt invites thrill seekers to listen in on a scripted-horror podcast about friendship and identity, trauma, demons, rituals, and – most frightening of all – the Toronto real estate market. Ever since Judith Antoni’s lifelong best friend, Claire Sterback, inherited a house from a biological family she never knew, things began to change. As Claire gets closer to a secret at the heart of the old house in the Toronto neighbourhood of Parkdale, she is also getting closer to losing herself. Catch two new episodes each week, with the finale on Friday, Oct. 30 – just in time for Halloween (Boo!).

The Hopeful – The Hopeful is a narrative long-form podcast that tells the true story of an Iranian-Canadian who leaves Iran amidst the revolutionary crisis in 1982 hoping for a better life elsewhere. Amir Omidvar narrates his journey with his daughter (and the show’s host), Shayda Omidvar, taking listeners through the perils and setbacks of his thrilling escape, and eventual arrival and new beginning in Canada. Launching Monday, Oct. 5, The Hopeful, at its core, is a love letter to the Canadian Dream.

Possibilities with Hina Khan – A perfect show to help you find balance in difficult times. Hosted by success coach and psychotherapist Hina Khan, this series helps listeners realize their potential through workshops that focus on fostering the tools people need to live happier, healthier lives. Launching on Tuesday, Oct. 13, Possibilities with Hina Khan brings a new lesson to each episode to help listeners progress in their journey towards personal and professional growth.

The Big Story + The Narwhal – Frequency’s flagship podcast, The Big Story, is partnering with The Narwhal, a team of investigative journalists that tell stories of Canada’s natural landscape, to produce a series focusing exclusively on climate change and the stories of reporters, advocates, and workers who have seen the world shift on the frontlines. Hosted by Jordan Heath-Rawlings, The Big Story + The Narwhal’s five-part special project launches on Monday, Oct. 19.

Paradigm – Hosted by Stefanie Phillips, each episode of Paradigm features a different producer, to take listeners inside a different world – and potentially changing their minds on an issue they thought they understood. The stories are their own personal and intimate tales that highlight big topics, including a look at the ways race impacts education experience among young Canadians, a touching story about one family’s experience after a loved one seeks medical assistance, and more. Launching Thursday, Oct. 22, Paradigm invites listeners to step through the doorways into these unique worlds.

The new series complement Frequency’s diverse collection of returning popular podcasts, including such titles as The Big Story, Moms in the Middle, Black Tea, Roz & Mocha, #CitylineReal on Race, Heaven Bent, The Safe Haven, The Biggs & Barr Show, and The Gravy Train.


NOVA Entertainment and Acast Announce End of Partnership



NOVA Entertainment and Acast announced the end of their partnership, with both companies set to pursue broader business ambitions.

NOVA and Acast have enjoyed a successful three-year partnership with NOVA representing and selling Acast’s audio-on-demand inventory in the Australian market since 2017.

Effective from Monday 7 September, both businesses will manage sales of their respective podcasting inventory in-house.

Henrik Isaksson, Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand at Acast, said: “As the local podcast industry continues to go from strength to strength, now is the time for Acast to be an independent player, to offer further podcast-specific strategy, insight and reach opportunities to brands and agencies.

“NOVA has been an incredible partner to work with and we leave on really good terms. The split is simply about the incredible growth of the podcasting market and the huge opportunity Acast can offer to brands both in Australia and globally.”

Peter Charlton, NOVA Entertainment’s Chief Commercial Officer said: “Our partnership with Acast has delivered in all the ways the right partnerships do – insight, experience and importantly, shared success. There’s a lot to be proud of, but now’s the right time for us to build on that foundation independently.

“As in everything we do, NOVA has big ambitions to further develop our digital audio offering, and the work we’ve done with Acast stands us in good stead to realize those. It’s an exciting time, and I wish Henrik and the team the very best.”


No Compromise Podcast Looks at a Far-Right Gun Movement



In April, the Dorr brothers made the front page of the Washington Post as the organizers of anti-lockdown protests in a handful of states. But reporters Chris Haxel (KCUR) and Lisa Hagen (WABE) of the public radio reporting collaborative Guns & America knew them from covering a seemingly different movement.

No Compromise, now available, is a limited-run investigative series about a movement of gun rights advocacy to the right of the National Rifle Association, one that’s more absolutist and gaining momentum in the gun rights world.

Through the story of brothers Aaron, Chris, and Ben, No Compromise traces both the movement’s origins and the family’s roots in anti-public education, anti-gay and anti-abortion efforts in the Upper Midwest. The podcast looks at how the brothers have updated their father’s political playbook by combining its strategies with the influence over their nearly two million Facebook followers across a dozen states.

New episodes of the limited-series podcast will publish each Tuesday.

Hosts Lisa Hagen and Chris Haxel first heard the Dorrs described as charlatans by the type of long-time gun rights activists who lobby state legislatures. But as they dug deeper and followed the money, it became clear that there is more to the story than the way the brothers spend their donations, weaponize outrage and commodify alienation.

“The NRA is struggling, and there are plenty of pro-gun groups eager to fill any real or perceived power vacuum. Examining those groups — and the people who lead them — may provide a glimpse into the future of a debate that won’t be going away anytime soon,” said co-host Chris Haxel.

No Compromise shows the larger ideological connections in the Dorr brothers’ network of friends and fellow political mercenaries, and reveals how their tactical playbook is being used by other anti-government actors, including anti-vaccine, anti-quarantine and white nationalist movements.

“The lessons we learned reporting this story apply to a much bigger spectrum than just gun rights,” said co-host Lisa Hagen. “Mistrust and anger are so easy to manipulate no matter what the issue is. And that’s something we have to become more aware of regardless of how we feel about guns or anything else.”

“This important and compelling project takes us deep into a world that many people know little about,” says Anya Grundmann, senior vice president for programming and audience development. “We’re proud to be showcasing top of the line journalism from our partners across the public radio network.”

This podcast was developed with support from NPR’s Story Lab, a creative studio at the heart of NPR that cultivates new voices, new approaches to storytelling, and the evolving sound of public radio. Guns & America is a national reporting collaboration created by WAMU with support provided by The Kendeda Fund, a private Atlanta-based grantmaking foundation that invests in transformative leaders and ideas, empowering communities to enhance equity, vibrancy, resourcefulness, and resilience.


AMP Public Media Teams Up with reVolver Podcasts



American Public Media announced a partnership with reVolverpodcast, a leader in on-demand audio geared toward multicultural consumer. Through this new venture, APM and reVolverpodcasts will produce Spanish language podcast programming.

APM and reVolver podcasts first collaboration will be the Spanish production of Brains On! The award-winning science podcast for kids and curious adults is produced by APM. Host Molly Bloom is joined by kid co-hosts, scientists and reporters to answer fascinating questions about the world. With over 150 episodes, the show encourages kids’ natural curiosity and wonder using science and history.

The new Brains On! en Español will be APM’s first Spanish language podcast. Through this partnership with reVolverpodcasts, APM hopes to expand its audience by making its content available to new and diverse listeners. The first season of Brains On! en Español will include 12 episodes and will feature Spanish-speaking scientists and kids, following the same concept as the original show.

“Honoring our growing multicultural audience at APM means more than translating our existing content, “ said APM’s Managing Director of Sales Strategy and Business Development, Tom De Napoli. “We’re proud of the work we’re doing with reVolverpodcasts to exclusively feature Spanish-speaking scientists, experts and kids at the forefront of Brains On en Español, because we know that to authentically connect with the youngest and fastest growing multicultural groups in the United States, representation is even more important than translation.”reVolverpodcasts produces top news and entertainment programming for Latino consumers and is in partnership with iHeartRadio, the exclusive sales representative of reVolverpodcasts network.

“Education is one of the most important issues for the Hispanic community, making sure Latino youth receive the best learning opportunities is everybody’s work [including] parents, teachers, and multicultural media such as reVolverpodcasts,” said Jack Hobbs, President of reVolverpodcasts. “We are proud to add the award-winning science podcast for kids Brains On! en Español to our digital platform and supporting our future generation.”
Brains On! en Español will be available exclusively on a major podcast platform that will be announced this fall.


Supporting Cast Announced Dynamic Subscriber Messaging



Supporting Cast announced Dynamic Subscriber Messaging. Podcasters can send targeted, personalized audio messages, like thank-yous for joining, warnings about expiring credit cards, and invitations to upgrade to higher priced tiers. This feature will drastically improve the premium podcast subscription experience, reduce member churn, and grow subscription revenue meaningfully for our clients over time.

What if you could send a recorded welcome message directly to a specific member’s podcast player? What if, as the member’s renewal date approaches, they heard a message from the show host in their feed thanking them for their ongoing support, or reminding them to update their payment information? That’s what Dynamic Subscriber Messages allow.

Dynamic Subscriber Messages are delivered as mini-episodes via members’ podcast apps based on where the user sits in their subscription lifecycle, so that they’re only heard by the people meant to hear them, at the exact moment when they make sense.

Dynamic Subscriber Messaging offers two key advantages that will make your message much more likely to be heard – and acted upon.

One advantage is that Dynamic Subscriber Messaging lets you deliver messages in your own voice. Supporting Cast says listeners have a close connection to a podcaster through the podcaster’s voice. They argue that listeners’ emotional attachment to podcasters’ vocal persona is what drives the bulk of the podcasting industry today.

Another advantage of Dynamic Messaging is that your audience is used to meeting you in their podcast player, not their inbox. It allows you to reach listeners where you know they are spending a lot of time, and where they are engaging with you. Podcasters can insert audio messages appropriate to each member’s circumstances directly into their premium feeds, as episodes that only they can see, at the exact moment when the message is most relevant to them.

Those who are interested can visit the Supporting Cast blog post about Dynamic Subscriber Messaging to learn more about it and to let them know how you would like to incorporate it into your member communications.


Fireside Announced the Fireside Pro Plan



Fireside announced the launch of the Fireside Pro Plan. They created a plan for podcasters who are becoming serious about their show, who want precise control over their collaborators’ roles and permissions, sharable download metrics, priority support, and the ability to upload MP3 files up to 200MB in size. The Pro Plan also features a handful of newly designed exclusive templates for your fireside website.

In addition to these features, the Pro Plan also features all new, in-depth and highly granular metrics, providing deeper insight into your audience, including granular details about the platforms and clients used to download and listen to your podcast, and a full breakdown of your audience location across the globe, the as well as the ability to share these metrics with non-Fireside users (like sponsors).

Additional Pro Plan features include all of the features in the Standard Plan, plus:

  • Includes 2 podcasts
  • Unlimited downloads/month
  • Advanced download metrics
  • Up to 10 collaborators
  • Collaborator roles
  • 3 brand-new Pro themes
  • Sharable metrics
  • Priority Support
  • Increased MP3 file size
  • Hide Fireside branding option
  • Integrated Click tracking
  • Customizable favicon
  • Bulk episode editing
  • Episode renumbering
  • Advanced theme customization
  • More!

Parcast is Unionizing



Parcast announced the formation of The Parcast Union with the Writers Guild of America East. Parcast was acquired by Spotify in March of 2019. At the time I am writing this blog post, it is unclear to me what Spotify thinks about this situation.

The Verge reported that Parcast is the third Spotify-owned company that has decided to organize. It follows Gimlet Media (which Spotify acquired in February of 2019) and The Ringer (which Spotify acquired in February of 2020). I’m not sure what, exactly, this says about Spotify.

Here is a little bit from Parcast’s blog post about unionizing:

We, the writers, researchers, fact-checkers, hosts, and producers of Parcast, look to the future with optimism and excitement. But to ensure a workplace that remains dedicated to Spotify’s core values — collaboration, innovation, passion, playfulness, and sincerity — we have chosen to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East.

Through collective bargaining, we hope to achieve growth in the following areas:

  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: A sincere commitment to creating a workplace as diverse and inclusive as the stories we tell.
  • Workload & Overtime: A reasonable workload that leaves time for playfulness and innovation.
  • Transparency & Compensation: Clear job descriptions, equitable compensation, transparent salary bands, and collaborative decision-making.
  • Creativity & Intellectual Property: An environment where the ideas and voices of our passionate creators are valued and respected.

On September 3, 2020, Parcast Union tweeted: “UPDATE: Today, we met with Parcast leads and Spotify HR representatives in an All Hands Meeting. We look forward to our union being recognized so we can begin having a real dialogue.”

To me, it sounds like what Parcast is asking for is reasonable. A company as large and profitable as Spotify should have no problem providing Parcast with the things they are requesting.