NewsFeed with @BuzzFeedBen

BuzzFeed’s newest podcast is called NewsFeed with @BuzzFeedBen.  It can be found on the BuzzFeed website on the same page as the rest of BuzzFeed’s podcasts.  The podcast is hosted by BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith. As you may have guessed, his Twitter handle is @BuzzFeedBen.

NewsFeed with @BuzzFeedBen is described as “conversations on the intersection of politics, media, and technology – and all of 2017’s insanity.” To me, this implies that the podcast is intended to close at the end of 2017. Or, perhaps it will continue into 2018 and slightly change its description.

The very first episode features David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. He is also the Senior Political Commentator at CNN, and was the Chief Strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.

The first episode of NewsFeed with @BuzzFeedBen is a continuation of a conversation between Ben Smith and David Axelrod that was episode 136 of David Axelrod’s podcast The Axe Files with David Axelrod.  This means you need to listen to that specific episode of The Axe Files with David Axelrod before you listen to the first episode of NewsFeed with @BuzzFeedBen if you want to hear the entire conversation.

The second episode of Ben Smith’s podcast is an interview with Charlie Warzel. He is a senior writer for BuzzFeed News, and reports on and writes about the intersection of tech and culture.

Con Before the Storm Prepares for its 5th Anniversary

Con Before The Storm is a fantastic, fun, pre-Blizzcon event that is for fans of video game podcasts, streamers, and pro esports teams, and artists that make game related artwork. The event is on Kickstarter with a funding goal of $14,000. At the time I am writing this blog, they have raised $12,040.

Con Before the Storm started out as a podcasting event that featured podcasts that focused on video games made by Blizzard Entertainment. The event has grown every year, and will have its fifth anniversary this year.

People can attend the event for free. The Kickstarter is intended to raise money to pay for at least three conference rooms, which will include their Art Gallery, Meet & Greet, World of Podcasts, a photobooth, and bartenders to serve the party-goers. The World of Podcast portion of Con Before the Storm typically includes panel discussions featuring hosts and co-hosts of podcasts about Blizzard’s games.

If Con Before the Storm raises their goal of $14,000, they will begin working on some stretch goals. The first stretch goal is $16,500, so they will be able to host the Frogpants and meetup. The next stretch goal is $19,000, which will allow them to move their Meet & Greet into a ballroom, and to put World of Podcasts into its own room.

Assuming they raise the money they need, Con Before the Storm will take place on Thursday, November 2, 2017, in Anaheim, California. The event has always taken place the night before Blizzcon. A person does not have to be attending Blizzcon in order to attend Con Before the Storm.

Podcast Movement 2017 Announced More Speakers

Podcast Movement 2017 will take place in Anaheim, California, on August 23-25. The event has a habit of slowly announcing who the keynote speakers will be.

Earlier this year, Podcast Movement 2017 announced that Dan Carlin, host of the Hardcore History and Common Sense podcasts, would be a speaker. Recently, Podcast Movement 2017 announced more keynote speakers.

Rabia Chaudry, Colin Miller, and Susan Simpson are the hosts of Undisclosed.  All three hosts will be keynote speakers for Podcast Movement 2017.

The Undisclosed Podcast investigates wrongful convictions, and the U.S. Criminal justice system, by taking a closer look at the perpetration of a crime, its investigation, the trial, and the ultimate verdict… and finding new evidence that never made it to court. Undisclosed is now in its third season. The hosts went from having no podcast experience to having one of the most popular shows in the world with millions of downloads.

Shannon Cason, who preformed at SXSW in Austin in March of this year, will be a keynote speaker at Podcast Movement 2017. He is the host of Homemade Storieswhich partnered with WBEZ Chicago for the 2014-2015 season. Shannon Cason is a storyteller and writer, and is originally from Detroit.

Senator Bernie Sanders has a Podcast

Senator Bernie Sanders, who became very popular with progressive voters in the 2016 election, now has his own podcast. It is called The Bernie Sanders Show. The first episode was released on March 26, 2017, but it wasn’t officially announced until April 7, 2017.

The announcement was done in the form of a tweet on Bernie Sanders verified Twitter account:

Engadget reported that The Bernie Sanders Podcast is the podcast version of his Facebook Live stream. This is good news for people who are interested in what Senator Sanders has to say, but do not use Facebook.

If you look at the iTunes listing for The Bernie Sanders Podcast, you will find that the link for “podcast website” takes you directly to Senator Sander’s official U.S. Senate website. A section of the website functions as a minimalistic show notes page for the podcast. The description of the podcast says:

Election days come and go, but political and social revolutions that attempt to transform our society never end. Listen to The Bernie Sanders Show to stay informed on the political revolution, our focus for a fight for a progressive agenda and how Bernie and others are fighting back against the Trump administration and its efforts to divide us up.

At the time I am writing this, The Bernie Sanders Podcast has released four episodes, all of which are interviews with people progressive voters would recognize. This includes Rev. William Barber, Bill Nye, Josh Fox, and Jane Mayer.

CastPlus Partners with Omny Studio for Podcast Monetization

Omny Studio LogoMonetization of podcasts. It’s a subject that could probably take up all of the space on all of the internet’s servers at this point. Podcast monetization has been covered from so many different angles, you’d think there couldn’t possibly be anything left to try. But that simply isn’t true. And that’s why Australia-based media hosting company Omny Studio has partnered with Israel-based CastPlus to bring more podcast monetization options to podcasters:

(the partnership will) …pair influential podcasters with brands and agencies seeking to monetize on the explosive growth of podcasting. Under terms of the partnership, podcasts hosted with Omny Studio will gain access to CastPlus’ extensive list of advertising partners.

In case you’re still not sure about the potential of podcast monetization, CastPlus and Omny Studio  have some stats for you:

According to recent findings from Edison Research, more than 42 million Americans listen to podcasts every week and, unlike traditional radio, podcast listeners are highly engaged with their content: 88% of fans listen to all or most of the episodes of their favorite show, according to Midroll. Further, the Interactive Advertising Bureau released research in late 2016 that shows showing stats podcast ads increase purchasing intent for 65% of listeners. This has led to new market segments materializing for podcast advertising, including music publishers seeking to grow revenues for back catalogs, and radio broadcasters turning to podcast advertising to monetize repackaged shows from traditional broadcasts.

If you’d like to get your monetization on with this new partnership, check out the websites for CastPlus and Omny Studio to get started.

2017 Peabody Radio/Podcast Nominees Announced

Peabody LogoYou know podcasting has truly arrived when a prestigious organization like the Peabody Awards is nominating podcasts to its slate of 2017 finalists. In fact, there’s an entire awards category called Radio/Podcast. (Maybe in the future, Podcast will become liberated from that other, older medium it’s currently sharing the category with. OK, enough editorializing for now.) The Peabodies don’t give awards only to shows themselves in the Radio/Podcast category (example: This American Life, Yeast Radio, etc.). Instead, awards are given for individual pieces created by radio and podcast producers.

Here’s the Peabody Awards slate of nominees for the 2017 Radio/Podcast category:

“A Life Sentence: Victims, Offenders, Justice, and My Mother”
One woman’s exploration of a violent crime that resonated throughout political and correctional systems.

“Homecoming” Gimlet Media
A story centered around a caseworker at an experimental facility, her ambitious supervisor, and a soldier eager to rejoin civilian life.

“How to Be a Girl” Marlo Mack, in partnership with KUOW Seattle
An attempt to make sense of the unanticipated parenting challenge of raising a transgender child.

“In The Dark” APM Reports
An investigation into the investigation of a kidnapping victim reveals a larger story about a systemic failure of law enforcement agencies nationwide.

“The Heart: Silent Evidence Series” The Heart
A journalist and documentarian grapples with being sexually abused and chooses to break her silence.

“This American Life: Anatomy of Doubt” This American Life, PBC in collaboration with The Marshall Project and ProPublica (Multiple stations/platforms)
A story that deconstructs skepticism in a rape victim’s case and how it spread.

“The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel” Mars Patel LLC (Panoply)
A serialized, scripted podcast designed for ages 8-12, performed by middle grade children.

“Unprisoned” WWNO and AIR
Based in New Orleans, stories behind families, communities and notions of justice in the age of mass incarceration.

“Wells Fargo Hurts Whistleblowers” (NPR)
On the heels of one of the biggest banking scandals in U.S. history, former Wells Fargo workers describe a boiler-room sales culture that pervaded bank branches across the country.

Find out who the big winners will be when the 76th annual Peabody Awards happen on May 20, 2017 in New York.

Podchaser Is Creating the IMDb of Podcasts

Podchaser logoSince podcasting’s earliest days, there’s been an inherent need to try and organize the chaos that appears to be inherent within the medium. After all, podcasting was born of the old notion that the internet is a free and open environment, where not everything has to be stuffed into a singular vertical. While there are plenty of forces at work today that’d like to fence podcasting in, the medium is still mostly open, and still mostly free. Hence, the need for continued organizing of the ever-expanding podcast space remains essential.

If you’ve ever needed to look up specific information on a movie, TV show, or even a video game, you’ve probably visited the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). It’s one of the oldest and most trusted authorities on all things actor, director, producer, etc. on the web. A new startup called Podchaser is working on creating what it’s calling “the IMDb of podcasts.”

Podchaser was recently introduced via Reddit, where it spawned a lively discussion thread:

Podcast discovery is an ongoing problem for podcast listeners. Some recommendation algorithms exist, but they’re generally based off podcast show preferences, rather than episode preference. Generally, the same 10 or so podcasts are recommended and remain on top charts. So, we are building a system around individual episode ratings and reviews. Our front page will feature the hottest episodes rather than podcasts, allowing users to discover a broader array of content. Users can also check out reviews on individual episodes before diving in. Some podcasts have shows with varying degrees of quality, and now you can just check out feedback in one place rather than googling around fan forums and subreddits.

Podchaser is beginning a beta program on June 10, 2017, and is currently soliciting feedback from the podcasting community to see what features people would like from a service like this. To get involved in that discussion, follow the Reddit thread linked above. To sign up for Podchaser’s newsletter and see some teaser images of what the service may look like, go to the Podchaser website.

Stitcher Releases Lineup of Original Podcasts

Stitcher RadioPodcast-consumption app Stitcher has gone thru a lot of changes over the last few years. Once hailed as the second-largest destinations for podcast listeners after Apple Podcasts, Stitcher’s fortunes have faded somewhat during this transitional period. The service was sold twice, with the latest acquisition coming from Scripps/Midroll/Earwolf. Last year, it was announced that Howl, Earwolf’s premium content platform, would be migrated into Stitcher. But the company isn’t stopping there. Stitcher announced this week it would be launching a collection of original shows of its own that won’t be kept behind a paywall:

…with a handful of popular shows joining together to form a new network. Shows on the new Stitcher network are available for free everywhere listeners access podcasts, including iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Soundcloud and Stitcher itself, and are supported through advertising.

Stitcher’s new original show lineup consists of these podcasts:

  • Katie Couric podcast (news, politics. current events, pop culture)
  • The Sporkful (food)
  • First Day Back (serialized non-fiction narrative/documentary style podcast)
  • The Longest Shortest Time (parenting)
  • Tell Me Something I don’t Know (gameshow)

Stitcher also announced it has an upcoming show that focuses on reading hosted by LeVar Burton of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Reading Rainbow fame.

iTunes Podcasts Becomes Apple Podcasts

Apple Podcasts logoEver since Apple launched the iOS Podcasts app, effectively giving podcasts a dedicated location on Apple mobile devices, speculation has occurred that one day, Apple will break podcasts free from the desktop iTunes application in a similar manner. While that hasn’t happened yet, having a dedicated desktop podcast-consumption app made by Apple may be getting closer.

Today, Apple rebranded the iTunes podcast directory to Apple Podcasts:

Although today’s announcement is merely a branding change, it may indicate a renewed focus by Apple on podcasting…

In February, Eddy Cue teased that the company is working on new features for podcasts at the Code Media conference. Combined with this rebranding, it is possible that Apple is readying a big announcement for later this year, potentially at WWDC.

Renaming the iTunes podcast directory to Apple Podcasts falls in line with other Apple branding efforts, such as Apple Music and Apple TV. It’s possible that the Cupertino-based tech giant is finding the “i” designation that rose to fame with products like the iMac, iPod, and iTunes is in need of a refresh. Regardless, it’s good to see some real attention being paid to Apple’s podcast directory.

Along with this new name, Apple also released new guidelines for publishers who’d like to link to their listings on the Apple Podcasts directory. These guidelines include a new set of badges that make use of the Apple Podcasts name in place of iTunes (see image above).