Conan O’Brien on His Open-Minded Future in Podcasting


PodMov Daily: Monday, September 21

Episode 289: Your Monday Mix

Conan O'Brien on His Open-Minded Future in Podcasting

Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, launched shy of two years ago, has become one of the most popular podcasts in the US. In an interview at TechCrunch Disrupt last week, O’Brien discussed the show with signature self-deprecation: “Like most of the best things in my life, the success of the podcast was a complete surprise.” 

In those same two years, O’Brien’s media company has rolled out nine other podcasts. Team Coco is busy developing more scripted and unscripted series, but quality comes first. “‘I don’t want to set a number goal,’” he said. “‘I’m not sitting around saying, ‘hey, we’ve got to get to 35 podcasts by this point.’ Because I’d like them to be good.’”

Will the podcast continue after his late-night contract ends? O’Brien suggests he won't be tied down by one company. “[…] people need to open up their minds a little bit,” he said. “If I’m making podcasts, it doesn’t prohibit me from also maybe doing something, it doesn’t have to necessarily be for Turner, it could be for anybody.”

How Creators Limit the Growth of Their Podcasts

In Evo Terra’s Podcast Pontifications, the podcaster, author, and radio broadcaster calls out a common creator habit: “So many podcasters want to grow their show. But so few of them — us, rather — want to do the work.” According to Terra, submitting early to Amazon Music was an ‘easy’ task that was largely neglected.

At launch, Amazon Music carried about 700,000 podcasts. However, “Amazon sent an email to every single email address contained in the ~1,400,000 RSS feeds that make up the podcast ecosystem.” That’s five percent participation, Terra laments, toward an “audience of fifty-five million audio-consuming people around the world.”

Terra urges creators to focus on “the new listener who’s not only new to your show, but new to podcasting all together.” Discovery is changing. Growing an audience means not sleeping on friction-free discovery opportunities like Amazon Music: “We need to change our behavior and start thinking and acting like a new listener.”

Podcasting, Seriously: Expert Sessions, In-Depth Learning

Podcasting, Seriously from Lantigua Williams & Co. is a learning platform for those looking to level up. Whether you’re an independent creative or a professional entering the space, this in-depth series is for you. Each engaging, practical session delves into skills and ideas that will take you further.

Trying new things isn’t always comfortable. Podcasting, Seriously will build your confidence beyond the basics. Upcoming sessions focus on sustainable growth, strong editing, and the critical components of a stellar interview. An extended Q&A follows every webinar, giving you expert feedback where you need it.

Podcasting, Seriously is about comprehensive learning. From delving into the latest industry data to breaking down editorial and production processes, you’ll benefit from informed and honest outlooks on the industry. Ready to get serious?

Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Plot thickens: A group of Spotify staffers are “reportedly pushing to introduce direct editing oversight” before Joe Rogan's episodes go live. Per Digital Music News, this may include “content flags, trigger warnings, [fact-checking], or simply refusing to publish an episode at all.”
  • Plugged in: Captivate has become the first hosting platform to integrate with The Podcast Index, a centralized alternative directory created by Adam Curry and Dave Jones. Podcasters on Captivate can now submit their shows directly. The company explains how and why.
  • Dude, same: There are certain things in life only a podcaster will understand, says Matthew McLean. Need a moment of internet solidarity? The Podcast Host has eight, including “You have the psychic power to turn on your neighbour's lawnmower, just by looking at your mic.”
  • Chance meeting: We Edit Podcasts is running a giveaway for International Podcast Day (September 30). Prizes include a RØDE Microphones starter kit, a Blue Yeti microphone starter kit, and packages of editing and hosting services. Winners will be announced on October 2.

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