Socially Distant Friends: Podcasters Doing Distraction Right


PodMov Daily: Friday, March 27

Episode 172: Week Download Complete

Socially Distant Friends: Podcasters Doing Distraction Right

Natasha Scott, a co-host of 2 Black Girls, 1 Rose, “says she sees ‘a hunger and craving’ for non-coronavirus content.” Amy S. Rosenberg of The Philadelphia Enquirer speaks with several popular podcasters who agree. Now more than ever, audiences and hosts alike find relief in escapist humor and the joyful absurdity of reality TV.

Rob Cesternino is the creator of “many — so many — Survivor recap shows,” Rosenberg states. Known primarily for Rob Has a Podcast, Cesternino has a matter-of-fact, upbeat attitude. “I don’t think it’s weird to talk about Survivor right now,” he said. “The normal world is nothing like it’s supposed to be. Survivor for the time being is very normal.”

Scott and co-host Justine Kay were scheduled to record a live episode at South by Southwest, cancelled along with the festival. Rosenberg describes the show 2 Black Girls, 1 Rose as a “funny-smart, satisfyingly exasperated, roll-your-eyes-along-with-us recap of The Bachelor (‘the whitest show on Earth’).”

“You have to get creative,” Scott said. “We put our brains together to see how we can continue to nurture our community, give them opportunities to connect with us.” Those opportunities “[depend] on what their listeners choose on their Patreon platform,” Rosenberg writes. Right now, that’s a pivot from The Bachelor to Love is Blind. Well played.

Andrew Sims of MuggleCast: The Power of Fan Communities

In a post on the Spotify for Podcasters blog, Corban Goble discusses the power of fan communities with Andrew Sims. “When [Sims] started MuggleCast — his long-running podcast centered on the Harry Potter books series — in 2005, he was wading into unexplored territory,” Goble writes.

Sims and co-hosts Micah Tannenbaum, Eric Scull, and Laura Tee are now “reflecting on 400 shows recorded over the span of 15 years.” The four all came from MuggleNet, “the most popular Potter fan forum online,” where they “developed an innate sense of what topics moved the needle in the Potter fan community.”

Goble explains how fan engagement is “the most important feedback loop that the show has.” It's a truth its hosts embrace and take seriously. Sims comments, “Listener feedback is just an endless trove of content right now.” The audience has always guided the process, he says. “There was a need for this, and we filled it.”

Happy Friday, readers, and here's to comforting voices everywhere. Thanks to Bello Collective for highlighting Reggie Ugwu's account of podcasters who have “reoriented their shows to meet the moment.”


Team PM

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Love island: Hrishikesh Hirway, the host of Song Exploder, speaks with LA Weekly about the development of his upcoming podcast. On Partners, Hirway explores the nature of coexistence with people in close, long-term relationships, romantic and platonic.
  • Extra credit: Hardcore History host Dan Carlin will deliver the remote commencement address for his alma mater, The University of Colorado at Boulder. Carlin launched his first show, Common Sense, in 2005 and has been “described as the king of long-form podcasting.”
  • Open house: For many podcasters, video conferencing on platforms like Zoom have become a new reality. Friends don't let friends have privacy mishaps. Check these strategies from The New York Times to present your professional best, or close to it, on a webcam.
  • So inclined: Megaphone CEO Brendan Monaghan has shared recent findings about audience growth, downloads, and listener engagement. Data based on the company’s 4,000+ shows suggests that “overall podcast downloads have been trending UP.”

Don't miss an episode of The Daily

Share With a Friend

About the Author


Join the Movement