The perceived “problem” of podcast discovery is a topic that comes up often. Especially if you listen to a lot of the voices that emirate from within podcasting’s Big East Coast Bubble. Some of those voices preach on about how podcasting needs new technology to make it easier for new listeners to find podcasts (specifically, their podcasts).
For now, those voices aren’t doing much more than moving a lot of hot air. Regardless, that isn’t keeping the New York Times from opening up its Podcast Club to the general public. The Times believes that this club (powered by a Facebook group) will help expose members to new podcasts:
Podcast club isn’t a new concept at The New York Times. We’ve had one here, in real life, for the past year. Every Friday, a group of employees from around the company gather in a bright, couch-filled conference room for half an hour to talk about one episode of one podcast. It’s sort of like a book club, but for on-demand audio.
Now we are expanding from 30 minutes a week to 24/7; from a conference room in Midtown Manhattan to the world — or at least the world of Facebook.
Here’s how it’ll work. On Mondays we’ll post the episode we’re discussing that week. Chime in with your thoughts once you’ve listened, and we’ll tell you the highlights of our own IRL discussion. We’ll also have other podcast-related discussions popping up throughout the week and will seek suggestions for what to listen to and discuss next. We’ll even have producers and hosts join us periodically for Q. and A. sessions.
You can join the New York Times Podcast Club on Facebook. You can also see an ongoing playlist of episodes featured by the club on RadioPublic.
In this episode, Shawn and Jen dig into some of the business related aspects of podcasting.
They discuss that New York Times article (and a response to it), take a look at stats, and inadvertently show just how much influence iTunes really has.
Links mentioned in this episode:
* Podcasts Surge, but Producers Fear Apple Isn’t Listening
By John Herrman on New York Times
* Apple’s actual role in podcasting: be careful what you wish for
By Marco Arment on Marco.org
* Where Are Your Podcast Listeners Tuning In? Blubrry Has Some Surprising Stats
By Blubrry Team on PowerPress Podcast
* Is the Name ‘Podcasting’ Hurting the Medium’s Growth?
By Seth Resler on Jacobs Media Strategies
* Why it’s bad that New York is sucking up the podcasting industry
By Adam Ragusea on Current
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The New York Times is in the process of creating an audio team that will work to launch a handful of new podcasts in 2016 and 2017. Those podcasts will focus on news and opinions and will be produced with outside partners.
Modern Love was the first podcast that the New York Times launched with an outside partner (in this case, that partner was WBUR in Boston). The introduction episode of Modern Love was released in December of 2015, and the official first episode was released in January of 2016.
Modern Love is hosted by Meghna Chrakrabarti (WBUR) and New York Times Modern Love editor Daniel Jones. Together, they share some of the best stories about love today. The content of the show is based on the New York Times Style section column (which is called “Modern Love”).
Neiman Lab reports that the creation of new podcasts was mentioned in a New York Times memo. It indicates that the company will “use those shows as a platform from which we can build audience for shows produced within The Times that are as integral to our coverage as our live events and visual journalism efforts.”
In other words, the main reason why the New York Times wants to launch some podcasts is in the hopes that the shows will pull in revenue and attract listeners at a broad scale. The New York Times already has three in-house produced podcasts that are not revenue-driven. Those shows are: Inside The Times, Inside the New York Times Book Review Podcast, (which is celebrating its 10th anniversary) and Music Popcast.
The New York Times has already started putting together an audio team. They include:
* Samantha Henig – will be editorial director of the new audio unit
* Kelly Alfieri – will be executive director of special editorial projects
* Diantha Parker – will be an editor and senior audio producer
* Catrin Einhorn – will be an audio producer
* Adam Davidson – will be an adviser. (He is the co-founder of NPR’s Planet Money and co-host of Gimlet’s Surprisingly Awesome.)
The New York Times is currently seeking an executive producer who will craft the creative vision of the audio team.