Podcasting’s Missing Middle Class


PodMov Daily: Friday, June 17

Episode 668: Week Download Complete

Podcasting’s Missing Middle Class

“Podcasting lacks a true middle class,” writes veteran creator and strategist Eric Nuzum. “It is filled with a small number of ridiculously successful creators – and a lot of strivers.” Considering the narrative around podcasting (a multi-billion dollar industry, minting millionaires), it’s a hard truth to acknowledge. 

Cat Jaffee, the founder of House of Pod, agrees. Now a production company, the original community podcasting hub in Denver had to close last fall. She told Nuzum about a recent ‘shift' among networks and larger production houses, where greenlit shows had to fit a preconceived idea of what would make bank.

“There are people who are scrapping it together, DIY, and then there are people who have investment funding and they’re kind of up here,” she said about the missing middle class. “And if you are trying to make it across that bridge, it has to be very quick, if you are stuck here in the middle for a while, it’s hard.” 

(There’s a light at the end of this bummer, we promise.) Our obsession with the ‘sell and cash out’ narrative has to go, Nuzum says. 99.9% of podcasters will always fail under a wildly narrow definition of success. “The person with a megaphone is the first person to tell you how important that megaphone is.”

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Here's what else is going on:

  • Better together: The International Women’s Podcast Festival is tomorrow. Held live in London, the gender-inclusive creator and industry event will feature keynote speaker Leanne Alie (Coiled), the Commissioning Producer for BBC Sounds Audio Lab. Virtual passes are available for £76/~$93.
  • Stage right: Dramafy has put out a call for completed audio dramas from independent creators. The audio fiction-dedicated platform offers a clear revenue sharing model. Is original IP safe to submit, you ask? From the fine print: “You retain full ownership and control of your creative work.”
  • Nice, dear: It happens even to the most accomplished of podcasters. B.A. Parker, a new host of NPR’s Code Switch, previously co-hosted The Cut. Still, “Until last year, her mom thought podcasts were those little cubes that make coffee, so her daughter’s entire career trajectory has been moot.”

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