HuffPost’s List of Best Podcasts of 2019 Caused Confusion

HuffPost, like several other websites, created their own List of Best Podcasts of 2019. HuffPost’s list included some very interesting podcasts, some of which I have heard of, and others that were new to me. There is nothing wrong about the list itself. It is very straight-forward.

HuffPost’s Best Podcasts of 2019 included:

  •  Headlong: Running from Cops – Dan Taberski
  • 1619 – The New York Times, hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones
  • Underunderstood – Billy Disney, Adrianne Jeffries, Regina Dellea, John Lagomarsino
  • Tell Them, I Am – KPCC, hosted by Misha Euchph
  • We Share the Same Sky – for USC Shoah Foundation, hosted by Rachael Cerrotti
  • Scattered – New York Public Radio, hosted by Chris Garcia
  • Julie, or the Unwinding of the Miracle – Pineapple Street Media, Julie Yip-Williams
  • Nice Try! – Curbed, hosted by Avery Trufelman
  • Dolly Parton’s America – WNYC, hosted by Jad Abumrad

On January 15, 2019, the Underunderstood Twitter account tweeted: “In December, we were on Huffington Post’s Best Podcast of 2019 list. Yay! But there’s a twist. Now their “authorized content management agent” wants us to pay $1,995 to “use the HuffPost Best Podcasts of 2019 logo and accolade” on our website.”

The tweet included two screenshots. One shows an email from PARS International, congratulating Underunderstood on making HuffPost’s list. Part of the email says: “Use the HuffPost Best Podcasts of 2019 logo and accolade in all of your advertisting and marketing campaigns, including on your website and in owned and paid social media.”

There was a link included which appears to lead to a page with more information. The screenshot of that page showed that a Promotional Licensing Package would cost $1,995. The term of the package would end on 12/31/2020. Winning podcasts were required to purchase this package.

Lydia Polgreen, Editor in Chief at HuffPost, replied to Underunderstood’s tweet. “Hello! Obviously we are big fans of your podcast at HuffPost. That’s why chose you as one of our faVeis in 2019! We were unaware this kind of outreach was happening; we have addressed the issue with our third-party licensing agent, and apologize for the miscommunication.”

Lydia Polgreen also tweeted: “HuffPost would of course be happy and flattered if you chose to celebrate the recognition of being on our list of best podcasts of 2019 in any way you choose. My email is on my bio if you have further questions.”

It seems to me that the confusion has been cleared. It’s good that HuffPost took action and made it clear to PARS International that they did not want anyone being charged to use the HuffPost Best Podcasts of 2019 logo. This may not have happened if Underunderstood hadn’t mentioned it on social media.