Podcast Pivot: Transitioning from Interview to Narrative Nonfiction


PodMov Daily: Wednesday, May 27

Episode 213: Your Midweek Update

Podcast Pivot: Transitioning from Interview to Narrative Nonfiction

This Wednesday’s guest feature from Sarah Enni is about braving uncharted territory. For five years, the author and journalist has produced the creative writing podcast First Draft with Sarah Enni. Launching the spin-off miniseries, Track Changes, presented a challenge that was anything but familiar.

Used to one-on-one interviews, Enni was faced with the demands of narrative nonfiction. “Tackling Track Changes has required every skill I’ve learned throughout my time working as a journalist, a novelist, and a podcast creator and host,” she writes. The documentary project dives into the traditional U.S. publishing industry.

“Shifting formats allowed me to give my audience clear, quality information in a more organized and straightforward way,” says Enni. From learning sound design to asking questions, every task has relied on hard-earned flexibility: “I had to shift all the expectations I set for guests before tape began rolling.”

PM's Weekly Community Recap: What Makes a Great Podcast?

What makes a podcast great? This week’s community update highlights answers from the PM Twitter community — now 38,000 strong. According to the makers of Queer Sacramento Podcast, genuine expression is everything: “Passion. I want to care about what you’re saying.”

A main strength of the group is its diversity of viewpoints and podcasting backgrounds. According to the creators of I Understood that Reference!, it’s all about chemistry: “If the hosts have chemistry with the listeners and each other (if there’s more than one), I’m down.”

How long are listeners engaging with your podcast? Omny Can Help.

Consumption analytics are the ultimate power tool, providing podcast publishers with valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t. Based on web player and custom app engagement, publishers that use Triton Digital’s Omny Studio platform gain insight into how their listeners are consuming and interacting with their content, and how long they’re listening for.

With Omny Studio’s new Compare Clip Consumption feature, it's now possible to view total time spent listening, average episode completion rates, and average time spent listening across a show, network, or organization in addition to clip-level insights into audience retention, drop-off points, and skips.  

Dynamic charts within Omny Studio provide visualized insights into average completion percentages, and with exact timestamps, it’s easy to monitor which parts of a clip successfully held listener attention.

It is in collectivities that we find reservoirs of hope and optimism.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Final word: The BBC reports that France's new list of alternatives for English language terms includes “podcast.” The Commission for the Enrichment of the French Language (CELF) recommends “audio à la demande” (AAD) or “audio on demand.”
  • Party tome: As a result of a fortuitous PM19 connection, the company Airship will take over production and sound design for History That Doesn't Suck. Creator Greg Jackson has partnered with producer Lindsay Graham, who has 6 shows on Wondery.
  • Social hour: Long dormant, the Twitter and Instagram accounts of Spotify Podcasting have launched with a “Listening Together” campaign. Featured hosts include Esther Perel (How’s Work?), Henry Zebrowski (Last Podcast on the Left), and Marc Maron.
  • Precious medal: Podcasting will be recognized for the first time at the annual Awards for Excellence of The National Council for the Training of Journalists (UK). In early 2021 “a new podcast journalism prize will identify the best student and trainee podcasts.”

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