Panoply has Canceled the About Race Podcast

The full title of the About Race podcast is: Our National Conversation About Conversations About Race. It was included in The Black Experience selection of podcasts, books, TV shows and movies that iTunes put together for Black History Month. Panoply has decided to cancel About Race.

About Race featured four “co-discussants”: Anna Holmes, Baratunde Thurston, Raquel Cepeda, and Tanner Colby. They hosted a lively, multiracial, interracial conversation about “the ways we can’t talk, don’t talk, would rather not talk, but intermittently, fitfully, embarrassingly, do talk about culture, identity, politics, power, and privilege in our pre-post-yet-still-very-racial America.”

About Race began in 2015. The last episode is titled “What have we learned?” At the time I am writing this post, some episodes are still available on SoundCloud.  It is still listed on iTunes.

Panoply made the following statement about why they chose to cancel About Race:

Panoply has made the difficult decision not to move forward with the podcast “Our National Conversation About Conversations About Race.” We loved working with Baratunde, Raquel, Tanner, and Anna over the last two years, and are proud of their important contributions to the dialog about race in America. However, frequent scheduling issues made it difficult to produce the show that we all wanted to create. Though the cancellation was unrelated to the current political climate, we regret the timing. Ending it now is painful, but a growing company like ours must make hard decisions, and this was one of the hardest. Now more than ever, Panoply recognizes the urgent need for diverse voices and frank conversions, and we’re committed to covering the important topics of race and ethnicity in America. Please stay tuned!

I’m not sure what, exactly, Panoply is asking people to “please stay tuned” for.  It is unclear, and uncertainty can lead to speculation.  A quick glance at the About Race Twitter (@showaboutrace) and its Facebook page show that there are many fans who are disappointed that the podcast has been canceled. Several people commented that America needs podcasts like About Race right now.

Panoply Launched The Onward Project

Have you ever been in the situation where you finished listening to all the podcasts that you subscribed to, and are looking for other similar podcasts? This is the feeling that Panoply is tapping into with The Onward Project.  It is a curated list of podcasts from Panoply.

The Onward Project is curated by Gretchen Rubin, who is a best selling author and host of the Happier podcasts. She has put together a collection of podcasts that are described as “full of concrete, actionable ideas for how you can make your life happier, healthier, more productive and more creative.” The list is also good for people who enjoy the Happier podcast and want to listen to other podcasts that are like it.

Happier is hosted by Gretchen Rubin, and co-hosted by her younger sister, Elizabeth Craft. The two get personal as they bring listeners practical, manageable advice about happiness and good habits. The purpose is to teach people how to be happier.

Radical Candor is also included in The Onward Project. Radical Candor is a show about how to love your work and the people you work with. It is hosted by Kim Scott and Russ Laraway, co-founders of Candor, Inc. They share stories from their experiences and change the way you think about management. Each week, they share actionable tips for doing the best work of your life and building the best relationships of your career.

Side Hustle School, which is also on the curated The Onward Project list, is hosted by Chris Guillebeau, who is a New York Times bestselling author. Side Hustle School is a daily show for everyone who works a regular job and wants to start an income-earning project on the side. Each episode provides a different story of someone who started a side hustle, including what went well and how that person overcame challenges.

There will be more podcasts added to the curated list that makes up The Onward Project. All of the podcasts currently on the list are from Panoply, and it seems that future additions will be as well.

LifeAfter is General Electric’s New Podcast

lifeafter-logoGE Podcast Theater is an experimental partnership in branded podcast production between General Electric, Panoply, and the BBDO advertising agency. GE Podcast Theater has launched a new podcast called LifeAfter.  It comes after the first GE Podcast Theater podcast, The Message, but is not a sequel.

LifeAfter is a 10 episode thriller. The main character is Ross, who is a low level employee at the FBI. Ross spends his days conversing online with his wife Charlie – who died eight months ago. The technology behind this digital resurrection leads Ross down a dangerous path that threatens his job, his life, and maybe even the world.

New episodes of LifeAfter will be release every Sunday. At the time I am writing this blog, there is an introductory episode and LifeAfter episode 1 available.

The Message website has a disclaimer that clarifies that the medical technologies and treatments that are in the podcast are fictional. There is a link to where people can learn more about the real technology that GE is working on in the ultrasound therapy space. In other words, The Message was, essentially, a creative form of advertisement that didn’t feel like an ad.  The unexpected popularity of The Message is potentially what made LifeAfter possible.

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor – PCN Show 027

In this episode, Shawn and Jen get into a discussion about ads and podcasting. This is an area that appears to be undergoing a “sea change” of sorts. There are companies that think the “renaissance of podcasting” means now is a good time to put ads into it. At the same time, the mechanisms by which those ads are placed is changing.

Links Mentioned in this episode:

* Amazon Hiring Comedians, Engineers for Growing Audio Service
By Lucas Shaw and Spencer Soper on Bloomberg Business

* Why Podcasts? Website
Created by Jessica Kupferman of She Podcasts

* Podcast Network Panoply Introduces New Ad Platform
By Jeremy Barr on Advertising Age

* 12 habits from a highly effective freelance audio producer
By Veronica Simmonds on CBC Radio

* Nick Quah is Leaving Panoply
By Nicholas Quah on Hot Pod

General Electric has a Sci-Fi Podcast

The Message podcast logoGeneral Electric has created a science-fiction podcast called The Message. The first episode was released on October 4, 2015, and more episodes will follow. The podcast tells the story of Nicole Tomalin, as she tries to decode a 70-year old message from outer space. She works for an encryption think tank called Cypher, and has just started working there.

The Message podcast is science fiction. However, it is presented in a way that could easily cause people to immerse themselves in the story and suspend their disbelief for a while. The first episode begins with “I’m Nicole Tomalin, and you’re listening to Cyphercast”.

Yes, that means The Message podcast (which is from General Electric) is presented from as Cyphercast, which is the fictional podcast of the fictional main character. Reuters reports that the cryptologist characters in The Message podcast use real ultrasound technology, that has actually been developed by General Electric, to decode the messages.

Reuters reports that the reason why General Electric wanted to do this podcast was in the hopes that it would raise its profile among a younger, tech-savvy, audience. The Message podcast is being produced by General Electric and in partnership with The Slate Group’s podcast network Panoply. Each episode will be between 40 and 60 minutes long and advertisement free. It is available through The Message website, and on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Overcast, and TuneIn.

Panoply has Acquired Audiometric

Panoply logoPanoply announced that it has acquired the Audiometric software platform. Panoply will use Audiometric technology to provide its partners with analytics, ad insertion, distribution and sales. This is the first acquisition for Panoply.

Podcasters who are interested in getting involved with Panoply and Audiometric can request a beta invitation. The beta will launch this fall. The Panoply website asks interested podcasters to register their podcast with Panoply if they would like to be notified of when their platform comes online.

Panoply launched in February of 2015 with 12 partner shows. Those podcasts were from The New York Times Magazine, Real Simple, The Huffington Post, and others. Since then, Panoply has become a full-service podcast network that is operating more than 20 partner programs, in addition to 15 Slate podcasts.

Audiometric’s co-founders, Jason Cox (CEO) and Darren Cox (COO) created the technology in 2012. They were searching for a way to insert ads into Darren’s own podcast. Audiometric is based in Sydney, Australia. The Audiometric team will continue to improve the software in collaboration with Panoply’s own developers, content creators, and sales team.

Here are some of the things that Audiometric’s technology will enable Panoply to do:

* Manage all content – ads, podcast episodes, feeds, and distribution – in one place through a focused content management system

* Seamlessly insert pre-, mid-, and post roll ads in real time

* Leverage back catalog content, capturing ad revenue whether an episode is one day or three years old

* Measure the performance of ad campaigns running across multiple episodes and shows

* Distribute podcasts as widely as possible, integrating seamless with new apps as they come on line. Panoply does not limit distribution to proprietary technologies.