Apple’s Podcast Production is Still About Marketing


PodMov Daily: Monday, April 12

Episode 405: Your Monday Mix

Apple’s Podcast Production is Still About Marketing

With its first combination podcast-TV original project, Apple is still avoiding a real dive into podcast production, says Ashley Carman of The Verge. “Instead, the company’s dipping its toes in, relying on podcasts to promote its subscription programming rather than using podcasts as a moneymaker themselves.”

The Line, the story of an Iraq war criminal, represents a diagonal step toward standalone audio. (The podcast and TV series are not ‘versions’ of each other but rather parallel examinations of one subject.) Original podcasts have never been marquee titles, serving only as companion marketing for Apple TV+ and Apple Books.

The paid podcast feature being built is “one of the last steps to structure the business.” For now, a combination project gives a peek into consumer behavior. A listener of The Line may be engaged enough to become an Apple TV+ subscriber. If there were no TV show, would enough pay for the podcast alone?

You’re Good: Perfect Podcast Voice Not Required 

The idea that podcasters need ‘perfect’ voices is a myth, writes Evo Terra in Podcast Pontifications. [Editorial aside: ‘Radio voice’ historically means white and male, as explained by Alexis Soloski of The New York Times and Gene Demby of NPR’s Code Switch.] Your “authentic voice” is what listeners want to hear.

It’s common practice for podcasters to neutralize perceived issues like accents, speech mannerisms, and natural cadence. Terra once worked hard to remove his rural drawl. A person’s pronounced accent is often part of their charm, he says. “For even more, it’s a part of who they are that informs how they see the world.”

In closing Terra suggests some voice-affirming homework: Reach out to a podcaster whose “authentic” voice you appreciate, and let them know. With a link to his article for context, ask them to do the same for someone else. One voice at a time, podcasters prove that the ‘NPR sound’ is no more worthy than any other.

Toyota Untold: The Journeys Behind an Icon

Toyota Untold goes beyond cars and into the journeys behind them, from garages to showrooms past, present, and future — featuring experts, drivers, engineers, and more.

Come for stories like Trey McDaniel’s, a medic who survived a deadly 133-car pile-up only to then help other drivers escape danger. He talks about the FJ Cruiser that saved his life and Toyota’s gift, a new 4Runner TRD Pro.

Stay for the heavy nostalgia, with throwbacks like the Toyota MR2 sports car. How did it earn such a die-hard community of fans? Toyota Untold asks three MR2 project builders in a lively roundtable celebrating the mighty mid-engine.

On a road trip, commute, or around the house — tune in to Toyota Untold wherever you get your podcasts.

Wishes feel good and rarely come true. Ambition, on the other hand, fuels your days and refuses to be ignored.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Short stack: Competition would be just as fierce if ‘one-and-done’ shows were to be wiped from Apple Podcasts, says Edison Research SVP Tom Webster. “Your problem is discovery, and the root of that problem is not how many single-episode podcasts are cluttering up the system.”
  • Getting busy: Of the 720,000 podcasts with 10 or more episodes, 21% have published within the last week. 156,000 is no small number, explains Amplifi Media CEO Steven Goldstein. He and Podnews editor James Cridland have built on last week’s findings with a look at the 10+ episode club. 
  • City sounds: A video from CNN Inside Africa explores the continent’s podcast scene with the directors of Africa PodFest. They’re joined by prominent creators like Dan Aceda, the co-founder of podcast incubator SemaBOX, and Kenyan radio presenter Adelle Onyango (Legally Clueless).
  • Later, n00bs: Real-time moderation for social audio has gaming to thank, writes Mack DeGeurin. Intel is testing Bleep, a chat tool used to identify and remove offensive words. Clubhouse will eventually need such a filter, though any hate speech solution will become a censorship problem.

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