Outlast and Outperform the Celebrity Podcast Wave


PodMov Daily: Tuesday, June 1

Episode 441: Testing, One Two-sday

Outlast and Outperform the Celebrity Podcast Wave

We need to quit blaming famous people for ruining podcasting, writes Edison Research SVP Tom Webster: “If your show right now is not as good mechanically and formatically as a new celebrity podcast, you can't carp about them stealing your audience.” Fame and cash simply can’t force a decent show.

A few weekends ago, Fiona Sturges of The Guardian wrote that celebrity shows have become an invasive weed of the audio industry, “hoovering up budgets, threatening to smother the competition and, in some cases, heralding a dispiriting drop in quality.” Webster counters the alarm with a long-term perspective.

“Yes, we are going to have a glut of celebrity podcasts for a while, but I think a bunch of them will not return their investment, and the balance of the force will be restored,” he concludes. “For the average podcaster, the challenge is two-fold: outlast, and outperform.” Stay committed, stay flexible, and above all, stay foxy.

Apple Podcasts Delays Subscriptions Launch

Apple is delaying the launch of Apple Podcasts Subscriptions. On Friday, the announcement was made in an email to podcasters. The new paid program was originally scheduled to go live in May. The rollout is being held back to allow more time to “ensure the best experience for creators and listeners.”

In a first public (under)statement, the company acknowledged that the new Apple Podcasts hasn’t been a success. Also on Friday, Podnews published a piece about the app’s ongoing “bugs and inconsistencies” as reported by a range of publishers, from large companies to individual podcasters.

From the email: “We’ve addressed these disruptions and encourage creators experiencing any issues to contact us.” Podnews did exactly what the company recommends, as have many podcasters over the past five weeks. Sometime this month, the industry will find out the “best experience” Apple can offer.

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Here's what else is going on:

  • Group chat: On Thursday at 12:00 CT, Acast will host “Aclass: Black Voices.” Creators including DeRay Mckesson (Pod Save the People) and Noleca Radway (Raising Rebels) will lead panels on Black experiences in podcast creation, storytelling, and navigating industry careers. Free RSVP.
  • Bright idea: CBC Podcasts and the BBC World Service are seeking proposals for a narrative nonfiction podcast. The “original ‘unputdownable’ story” will be produced into 8-10 episodes, which will be presented as a major joint series in 2022. Pitches will be accepted until June 24.
  • Mystery machine: Tanner Campbell of Portland Pod recommends a list of 10 music and sound effects resources for podcasters. Five are free and five are paid. One called Ghosthack will be especially useful “if you’re anywhere in the paranormal, horror, ghostie spookies type space.”
  • On paper: NPR's Podcast Start Up Guide will be released on June 29. The author is Glen Weldon, a host of Pop Culture Happy Hour for the last decade. Geared toward beginners, the book is described as “part master class, part candid informational interview with the best in the business.”

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