Gimlet Media Seeks a Producer of Scripted Fiction Department

Gimlet Media is seeking an Associate Producer for their Scripted Fiction Department. The department develops and creates new and original series. It is described as “a highly collaborative group of producers, sound designers, and engineers.” The position is a full-time role, based in Gimlet Media’s Brooklyn, New York, office.

We’re looking for a creative, self-motivated Associate Producer to help develop and produce original fiction shows for Gimlet Media. We’re looking for candidates who come from a TV or film background and are particularly familiar with show production. This person has a commitment to excellence, can give and receive constructive feedback, and is a team player. Above all, this person is genuinely excited about the challenge of making new shows from the ground up, from pre-production through post-production, and developing their career in audio with a team geared toward fast growth.

Requirements Include:

  •  2-3 years of experience in audio production, TV production, or a relevant field
  • The ability and flexibility to work in a fast paced, changing environment
  • Able to identify strong pitches/potential writers
  • Demonstrated passion for storytelling, whether in video, audio, and/or written content
  • A keen organizational sense and a proven ability to execute against deadlines
  • The ability to receive and implement feedback as part of a highly collaborative work environment
  • The ability to community clearly and effectively, both within Gimlet + Spotify and externally
  • A close attention to detail and the ability to juggle multiple tasks
  • Bonus points if you’re familiar with Pro Tools!

Those who would like more information about this position, or who want to apply for it, should visit the Gimlet Media website where the want-ad is located.

PRX Announced TRAX – A Podcast Network for Tweens

PRX, the pioneering public media organization that produces and distributes iconic audio programming heard by millions, announced TRAX, a network of original podcasts for preteens and teens ages 9-13 years old.

Funded by a $1.6 million grant to PRX from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, TRAX will feature free, on-demand audio content that is enriching, entertaining, and diverse in genre, format, style and voice. The network will launch in 2020.

PRX has developed the network with guidance from Peabody Award-winning Gen-Z Media, one of the top publishers of high-quality audio content for youth and their families. Gen-Z produces and curates acclaimed podcasts spanning from action-adventure to science education, including Pants on Fire, Tumble, Molly of Denali, and Earth Rangers.

TRAX will feature podcasts from Gen-Z Media, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Cocotazo Media, and members of the team behind Night Vale Presents, and more.

Veteran producer Michelle Smawley will lead TRAX as its executive producer. Smawley has produced and developed programming featured on NBC, PBS, CBS, and A&E. Formerly an instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Smawley has also served as a reporter for KBIA in Missouri.

“TRAX intends to broaden the possibilities of audio for preteens and teens – an under-served audience – with bold programming that can also be trusted by parents and caregivers,” continued Hoffman. “We’re grateful to the Corporation of Public Broadcasting for their support.”

Omny Studios Embed Player Now with More Languages

Omny Studio announced that its embed players, that are used around the world, are now available in multiple languages.

With the help of our impressively multilingual team, we enabled a number of new translations for the Omny Studio embed players over the last month. Translated player will be applied automatically based on the default language of the user’s browser.

Languages Include:

  •  English
  • French (Continental French and French Canadian)
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese (Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese)
  • Japanese
  • Malay
  • Hebrew (with proper right to left text display)
  • More languages are coming, including Arabic

There were some interesting things they had to work out with certain languages. For example, the Japanese language version of the Omny Studios embed players say “Powered by Omny Studio” in English. This is because their translator said it looks more natural if those words remained in English.

Another interesting thing involves the progress bar. On Omny Studio embed players for languages that are read right to left, the progress bar still goes left to right. This decision was made because both Google and Spotify guidelines recommended it “as they refer to the direction of the tape being played, not the direction of time.”

Pulitzer Announced New Audio Reporting Category

The Pulitzer Prize Board announced a new Journalism prize category for the 2020 prize cycle: Audio Reporting.

“The renaissance of audio journalism in recent years has given rise to an extraordinary array of non-fiction storytelling. To recognize the best of that work, the Pulitzer Board is launching an experimental category to honor it,” Pulitzer Administrator Dana Canedy said.

The new prize will be awarded “For a distinguished example of audio journalism that serves the public interest, characterized by revelatory reporting and illuminating storytelling.”

The Board invites submissions from producers of radio programs and podcasts that exemplify the excellence the Pulitzer Prizes have honored for more than a century. Competitive entries will reflect the work the Prizes has championed traditionally, from investigative reporting that exposes wrongdoing to dynamic features, and news coverage of major issues or events.

Here is who is eligible to enter this new category:

  •  News organizations who are currently eligible to compete for the Pulitzer Prize – U.S. newspapers, magazines, wire services and online news sites that publish regularly, can enter audio stories in this new category
  •  Independent American producers
  •  U.S. radio and other broadcast outlets

To qualify, the audio must:

  • Adhere to the highest journalistic principles
  • A commitment to honest with both audiences and subjects
  • Rigorous and transparent sourcing
  • Audio must have been aired during the 2019 calendar year

The contest for Audio Reporting and all other Journalism categories will open on December 16, 2019, and deadline is January 24, 2020, at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Audio entries must be submitted without preroll advertising.

Canadian Podcast Awards 2020 Nominations Closes Soon!

The Canadian Podcast Awards 2020 Nomination period will close on December 29, 2019. In order to nominate a podcast, you must login to the Canadian Podcast Awards website.

The 2020 Nominations include the following categories:

  •  Outstanding Adult Series
  • Outstanding Arts Series
  • Outstanding Branded Series
  • Outstanding Business Series
  • Outstanding Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Debut for a Series
  • Outstanding Documentary
  • Outstanding Education Series
  • Outstanding Fiction Series
  • Outstanding Foreign Series
  • Exceptionelle Francophone Series
  • Outstanding Health & Fitness Series
  • Best Host in a Series
  • Outstanding Indigenous Series
  • Outstanding Kids & Family Series
  • Outstanding Leisure Series
  • Outstanding Music Series
  • Outstanding News & Current Affairs Series
  • Outstanding Personal Series
  • Outstanding Science Series
  • Outstanding Society & Culture Series
  • Outstanding Sports Series
  • Outstanding Technology Series
  • Outstanding Television & Film Series
  • Outstanding True Crime Series
  •  The Goytche Award – Named after the late Bob Goytche, a key figure in the Canadian podcasting community, this award recognizes podcasters who’ve made an impact and helped grow the community.
  •  People’s Choice – The People’s Choice Award is open to the top nominated podcasts across all categories and will be awarded to the audience favorite as voted by you.

Podigee Offers Spotify Passthrough to their Customers

Podigee announced that as part of a new agreement with Spotify, Podigee is offering Spotify Passthrough to their customers. With this, Podigee avoids the usual caching mechanism of the streaming service.

As one of only a handful of podcast hosters worldwide – and as the only German hoster – we now cooperate with Spotify to deliver your audio files exclusively from our servers. The feature is called “Passthrough” and means nothing else than that Spotify will no longer make copies of your hosted audio files. In the future your episodes will be streamlined directly from our servers in the latest version. As a Podigee customer you will always have complete control over your content and can use Dynamic Ad Insertion to its full extent.

Previous to Passthrough, Spotify was making one-time copies of all episodes of the podcasts that are registered on Spotify. It then delivers those podcasts to listeners via Spotify’s distribution infrastructure. This means that the podcast the listener accesses through Spotify does not come from the Podigee’s servers.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that process. Podigee notes that it can result in less load on their own servers, lower latency, and higher availability.

Unfortunately, the disadvantage is that audio files delivered from the Spotify cache do not work in combination with dynamic ad insertion. The change to Spotify Passthrough means that Podigee podcasters will now have more freedom monetize their podcast through advertising.

TIME Selected the 10 Best Podcasts of 2019

TIME put together a list of what they consider to be the very best podcasts of 2019. TIME noted that some of the best podcasts in 2019 focused on topics such as the ramifications of slavery, companies that imploded, and celebrities who passed away this year. As such, TIME points out that all of the podcasts on their list indulge in nostalgia.

TIME’s Top Ten Podcasts of 2019 are:

Number one: 1619
This podcast accompanies the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 project. It is hosted by New York Times writer Nikole Hannah Jones, who focuses on what happened after the frigate White Lion brought slavery to America.

Number two:
You’re Wrong About
Hosted by journalists Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall, who re-examine stories about Tonya Harding or O.J. Simpson, to find surprising new angles.

Number three: Blank Check With Griffin and David
Hosts Griffin Newman and David Sims examine the filmography of one director at a time. One of the highlights of their podcast was when they focused on the films of Hayao Miyasaki.

Number four: Last Days of August
Jon Ronson, creator of the Audible Original The Butterfly Effect, delves into the story of an adult film star named August Ames who died by suicide after writing a controversial tweet. He produced a nuanced and considered portrait of August Ames, and her relationship with an industry that both worshipped and abused her.

Number five: Moonface
This podcast is a fiction podcast about a Korean American son named Joel Kim Booster who wants to come out to his mom, Esther Moon, but can’t because they don’t speak the same language. TIME notes that the cinematic soundscape of James Kim’s fiction podcast immediately draws the listener into the dive bars of Downey, California.

Number Six: Decoder Ring
Slate critic Willa Paskin explores a bizarre and delightful cultural phenomenon each month, from “Baby Shark” to Chuck E. Cheese, to try and understand why people become obsessed by seemingly arbitrary touchstones.

Number Seven: Scattered
Scattered is from WNYC Studios. Comedian Chris Garcia sets out to discover the truth about his dad, a man who survived Castro’s labor camps only to lose his way in search of the American dream.

Number Eight: Conan O’Brian Needs a Friend
This podcast is from Earwolf and Team Coco. The premise is that Conan O’Brian discovers that he doesn’t have any friends, despite doing thousands of interviews with celebrity guests. The way he tries to remedy that situation is to start a podcast designed to help him make friends.

Number Nine: Mobituaries with Mo Rocca
CBS Correspondant Mo Rocca hosts a podcast about death that is surprisingly fun. Each episode is a eulogize of a different person or thing. He approaches each subject earnestly and curiously, inviting famous people to provide their unique insights.

Number ten: Spectacular Failures
Host Lauren Ober recounts the epic meltdowns of companies like MoviePass and Toys “R’ Us, with a healthy dose of skepticism. She exposes the “failing up” culture that pervades Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and the White House.

Whooshkaa and Ripple Partner in Malaysia

Australian on-demand audio platform Whooshkaa has announced a partnership with leading Malaysian broadcaster Ripple. The partnership will see Whooshkaa’s software power on-demand and dynamic advertising across Ripple’s stable of shows.

Ripple’s lineup of broadcast radio shows and podcasts serve a broad demographic with content in Malay, Chinese, and English.

“Whooshka is an excellent partner with unparalleled insights into the Malaysian marketplace and will help connect new brands and audiences with our original content and radio show podcasts” said Alex Poon, General Manager Tech and Shared Services of Ripple.

“The partnership also means Ripple’s audio inventory will be available alongside all of Whooshka Asian hosted podcasts,” he said.

Whooshkaa CEO Robert Lowenthal said the Whooshkaa platform will help Ripple expand its listenership and advertising reach.

“Our tech stack streamlines the way for companies to unlock their potential using targeted, dynamic advertising, on-demand audio hosting, recording, distribution and commercialization,” he said.

Whooshkaa is an IAB Certified industry leader in digital audio. It delivers best-in-class solutions for podcasters and radio networks, breaking new ground with content creation, delivery, dynamic ad insertion, text to speech options for print media and smart audio technology.

Ripple is an audience-focused digital media, broadcast and commerce company that aims to engage with audiences through content, talents, experiences and platforms. It includes four broadcast brands – Fly FM, Hot FM, One FM, and Kool FM, a podcast platform, Ais Kacang, an e-commerce brand – SuperDeals, and seven digital brands – Dhia, Donna, Lunaria, Thelaki, Likely, Chapters, and Wakeke.

Play Apple Podcasts with Alexa

Podnews posted the contents of an email that Apple sent out. It included the news that Apple Podcasts are now on Alexa. The email also provided details about Apple’s holiday submission schedule for podcasts.

Apple Podcasts is now available on Alexa-enabled Amazon devices in the United States. As a creator, you’ll find this presents an even greater opportunity for listeners to hear your show.

Spread the world on your show or episode promotion channels, and wherever else you communicate with your audience. For example, encourage them to say things like:

“Alexa, play (podcast title) on Apple Podcasts”
“Alexa, play (podcast title) from yesterday on Apple Podcasts”
“Alexa, skip ahead 30 seconds”
“Alexa, play the previous episode”

Apple provided information about what you need in order to play Apple podcast on Alexa. It includes the following:

An Amazon Fire TV or Amazon Echo speaker and the iOS or Android device you used for setup with the Amazon Alexa app installed. Make sure you update to the latest iOS and check the App Store to see if there are updates for the Amazon Alexa app. If you use an Android device, check the Google Play store for any updates to the Apple Podcasts app or Amazon Alexa app.

Apple’s Holiday Submission Guidelines are:

  •  If you plan to release new shows in December, be aware of delays in he review process for new submissions between December 23, 2019, and January 2, 2020.
  •  Shows submitted during this time may not be reviewed within our regular timeframe of five business days. Plan accordingly and submit any new RSS feeds in advance.
  • Note: This does not affect shows already available on Apple Podcasts. New episodes will continue to be available within 24 hours.

Spotify Users in the U.S. Can Now Play Podcasts Through Alexa

Spotify announced that Spotify users in the United States will be able to ask Amazon’s Alexa to play their favorite podcasts, simply by using their voice. This is now available for Spotify Free and Premium users in the U.S.

First, make sure to set Spotify as your default podcast and music provider in your Alexa settings. Then, all you have to do is call out, “Alexa, play The Joe Budden Podcast on Spotify,” or whatever podcast you want, to start enjoying podcasts on your Spotify account. It’s a seamless way to listen to your favorite podcasts, no hands needed.

In addition to requesting a specific podcast, users will be able to ask to restart an episode and pick up from where they left off in their Spotify app with Alexa just by saying, “Alexa, play the (podcast name) podcast. They can also request the latest episode, navigate to the previous or next episode, and even navigate by podcast time frame.

Spotify has been integrated with Alexa for over two years. Previously, Spotify users have been able to ask Amazon Alexa to play music, like their Discover Weekly or Today’s Top Hits playlists, but not podcasts. This new feature makes it possible for users to ask Alexa to play podcasts.