‘Podcast Movies’ Aren’t New. Why Repackage Audio Fiction?


PodMov Daily: Tuesday, January 4

Episode 561: Testing, One Two-sday

‘Podcast Movies’ Aren’t New. Why Repackage Audio Fiction?

“What do you call a podcast that presents a single, fictional story in 90 minutes?” The New York Times recently dug into ‘podcast movie,’ a new term made up to sell audio fiction featuring celebrities. As Joshua Dudley writes in Forbes, headlines about hour-plus features ‘stretching the medium” are getting old.

With star-led projects like “Ghostwriter,” C13Features is spearheading the name trend. “You could say ‘feature-length podcasts’ but that just seems boring,” Chris Corcoran, the company’s co-founder, told the NYT. “You want to exemplify the experience in a way that feels forward-looking but is still legible to the consumer.”

Audio fiction veterans have expressed frustration that their work is being sidelined, Dudley says. Organized audio drama production has been going on for 100 years, is quickly growing in popularity, and claims a segment of unusually dedicated fans. What’s new here is packaging and (much) higher paychecks.

Public Domain Day May Be a Gift to Your Podcast

A belated happy Public Domain Day to podcasters, and a strong suggestion to check out this year’s treasure forecast. An estimated 400,000 sound recordings from before 1923 will become free to download and use for any purpose, writes Jennifer Jenkins, Director of Duke’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain.

A trove has been released, with more to come over the course of the year. Podcasts will soon be able to add remarkable audio: “Everything from experiments with nascent sound recording technology in the late 1800s to opera, classical music, early blues and jazz, vaudeville, ragtime, popular songs, and comedy sketches.”

Jenkins’ provides 25 favorites, including early recordings by African-American artists and the first tracks from a legendary opera singer. “Even on a scratchy recording from over 100 years ago, the magic comes through.” The Library of Congress will make all of its pre-1923 recordings available on the Duke Law site this year. 

Timber: Shape the Future of Quality-First Podcast Hosting

Timber is looking for craft-loving, independent podcasters to beta test its new hosting service. Testers will receive a year of free hosting with a quality-first approach. The interface is clean and intuitive, the analytics are beautiful and user-friendly, and import is lightning fast.

The service is nearly two years in the making, and it shows. From episode management to analytics, each feature is designed to serve passionate, experienced podcasters. Your feedback will shape an even better experience for a growing community.

This offer is limited to the first 50 shows that commit. If you’re interested, please email jon@timber.fm or fill out this form. Need another reason to sign up? Someday, when all the best independent shows are hosted on Timber, you'll be able to say you were here first.

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Good question: Tomorrow at 4:00 pm ET is “All About Listener Surveys” from Podcasting, Seriously. Held on Twitter Spaces, the organization’s weekly meetup will feature a conversation with Gabriel Soto from Edison Research about tapping into audience feedback. No account needed to join.
  • Smooth intro: More people need to be trained to listen to audio fiction, writes Sean Howard of Fable and Folly. A company called Realm may be an answer, offering a “strong catalog of easier to listen to, single narrator titles that are somewhere between an Audio Book and a full-cast audio fiction.”
  • Mad respect: Congratulations to Norman Chella, who has officially become a Podcast Librarian for Podchaser. The role is “a combo of CKM, funnels and tons of internal pain point researching!” he says on Twitter. “If you have a podcast you'll be hearing from me a LOT about updating your credits.”
  • Solo flight: SoundPath’s next live seminar series, “When Your Podcast Team Is You,” begins on January 10. The five-session intensive will be led by Roifield Brown, creator of How Jamaica Conquered the World and podcasting instructor at UC Berkeley. Registration is $625 for non-AIR members.

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