Reply All: The End of a Podcasting Era


PodMov Daily: Thursday, May 19

Episode 648: Your Thursday Podthoughts

Reply All: The End of a Podcasting Era

Fifteen months after the breakdown of Gimlet’s Reply All, the beloved podcast is coming to an end. Co-hosts Alex Goldman and Emmanuel Dzotsi have decided to leave the company. Goldman started the show in 2014 with PJ Vogt, who abruptly left when his role in Gimlet’s internal controversy came to light.

In a memo, leadership said “we hope that there is a future” where the concept will return in some form. Realistically, though, it can’t. Reply All became a fundamentally different podcast after losing Vogt. Longtime listeners rooted for Goldman and Dzotsi, a 2020 addition, but the writing was on the wall.

Just a month ago in a follow-up about Vogt, we said this: “Even if you weren’t familiar with Reply All, it’s worth learning about to see what happens next.” The saga is a true first – Gimlet was turned inside out along with its flagship show, and now its co-founder and managing director are both on the way out.

Your editor is one of those longtime Reply All fans who will return to its back catalog again and again. So, what happens next? People will keep discovering those ‘driveway moments.’ As Gimlet told employees, “This show has had an incredible run…It is not an exaggeration to say it defined an era of podcasting.”

New YouTube Features Highlight Hit Sections

YouTube rolled out several new features yesterday that will make podcast videos more shareable. ‘Most Replayed’ identifies the most popular sections of a video with a graph that appears behind the progress bar. Before wide release, the feature was an experiment accessible only to premium subscribers.

In full-screen mode, a new information panel will show a description, chapters, and comments. The updates have a clear mission, says James Vincent of The Verge. “It’s got long-form video nailed, but now you can chop that video up into small, bite-size packages, or hone in on the most watchable clips.”

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Curiosity is what separates us from the cabbages. It's accelerative. The more we know, the more we want to know.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Nice try: “Research into possible plagiarized content by large podcast networks should be part of a daily routine in the podcast creation process,” writes Frank Racioppi. Damage to the industry is getting worse with the trend of podcasters ‘borrowing heavily’ from nonfiction work.
  • Reality check: Beware the trap of potential audience sizes, writes Podot co-founder Nick Hilton. “Most markets for any given podcast are much smaller than you’d think — and certainly much smaller than you’re led to believe when misleading data like ‘100m listeners’ is bandied about.”
  • Fresh faces: Applications are open for AIR’s New Voices 2022, an acclaimed accelerator program for early-career talent in audio storytelling. This evening at 6:00 ET, AIR will hold an info session about the 5-month virtual program and application process. The deadline is May 25.
  • Cruise director: “How to Be a Better Host” from Radio Boot Camp is Wednesday, May 25. NPR host Christina Shockley will lead a workshop on hooking the listener’s ear, including tips for speaking authentically, capturing the show’s tone, and displaying your personality. $100 registration.

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