PodMov Daily: Friday, April 8
Episode 621: Week Download Complete
Kids' Podcast Reviews Come to Common Sense
Common Sense Media, the nonprofit dedicated to content ratings for kids, has added a podcast review category. Since 2003, it’s scored books, movies, TV shows, video games, (and now) apps in terms of age-appropriate educational content. The library launches with 50 titles, including hits like Wow in the World.
The new hub will help parents and caregivers find niche and topical shows, removing friction and guesswork. An initial batch of 15 recommendation lists includes ‘Podcasts That Discuss Mental Health,’ ‘Podcasts with Diverse Characters and Stories,’ and ‘Kids’ Podcasts for Social-Emotional Learning.’
“This is an industry-changer,” says Matthew Winner, Head of Audio at A Kids Company About. “Common Sense Media podcast ratings and reviews will translate to thousands more kids and families discovering shows for the first time, and finding shows they can love and listen to (or co-listen to) for a long time.”
For Better Stories, Leave the Inverted Pyramid Behind
Without realizing it, many of us tell stories using the ‘inverted pyramid’ structure we were taught in school. It’s an “elderly news-story construction, which puts the most boring/trivial details at the bottom,” says Holly J. Morris of the NPR Training team. There's a better way to sustain your listeners’ attention.
“The classic inverted pyramid is the ‘Florida man’ story,” Morris explains. “You can stop reading after the bit with the alligator/lawn mower/nudity/beer, because the rest is going to be arid details from the police report.” With its even base, an inverted trapezoid structure introduces compelling material throughout.
For any podcast genre, treats at a steady pace will make listeners more likely to finish an episode. “At every turn, the reader is rewarded with another grippingly bizarro fact or idea. The very best stuff is distributed, not front-loaded,” Morris says. A trapezoid starts strong and serves your audience until the end.
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Here's what else is going on:
- Inside out: Lydia Polgreen, Managing Director at Gimlet, is leaving the Spotify-owned podcast company. After just two years in the role, she’ll return to The New York Times as an Opinion columnist. According to Ashley Carman, Spotify leadership has “the next couple months” to find a replacement.
- Star power: Today is April’s Podcast Review Day. On the 8th of each month, celebrate #podrevday by reviewing a show and posting it to Twitter. Founder Stephanie Fuccio says it best: “This impact, this connection, this feedback, this is why many independent podcasters do what we do.”
- Feeling it: Tomorrow at 12:00 pm ET is “Story Structure: Murder Isn’t Inherently Interesting” from Radio Boot Camp. Karen Duffin (Planet Money, This American Life) will discuss the elements of a great narrative and how to provoke curiosity, emotion, and clarity for listeners. $100 registration.
- In pieces: This Wednesday at 5:00 pm ET is “How to Think Structurally” from Dustlight Productions. The hands-on podcast training led by Arwen Nicks (California Love; Tell Them, I Am) will dissect structure and how it can be used to craft compelling stories. $75 registration; assistance available.