When Podcast Hosts Speak, What Do We Hear?


PodMov Daily: Friday, February 26

Episode 379: Week Download Complete

When Podcast Hosts Speak, What Do We Hear?

Whether you blame Ira Glass or celebrate him for it, ‘podcast voice’ is undoubtedly iconic. The New York Times’ Alexis Soloski spoke to producers, hosts, and professional voice coaches about its craft and influence. As a non-podcaster, she was determined to find out how this voice is done, and if she could do it. 

The NPR sound is analyzed for what it isn’t: natural. In conversation with podcasting experts, Soloski discovers that code-switching and gender-based criticism are no less relevant than vocal exercises. Audio clips are embedded throughout, as well as (very cool) interactive audio graphics in the style of concrete poetry. 

This article is part of The State of Podcasting, a blitz published yesterday by the Times. Read on for: The impact of Hollywood film and TV adaptations, young podcasters “growing up on mic,” show recommendations from 36 popular hosts, and a profile of Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr., co-creator of Gimlet’s Resistance.

Workplace Equity: 7 Questions from a Gimlet Producer

Last Friday, Gimlet reporter and producer Bethel Habte (Resistance) tweeted “seven questions for people in narrative radio that truly want to do better, including its Black author.” Her workplace equity manifesto, initially a series of Notes app screenshots, has been published by Transom.

“Questioning ourselves keeps us honest,” Habte writes. “It keeps us humble about our limitations and blind spots. It saves lives. And it makes our stories better.” The fallout at Reply All had begun three days earlier when Eric Eddings, her former colleague at Gimlet, called out its hostile work environment.

From an epigraph by Leila Day, co-host and producer of The Stoop: “My hope is that all of us who have ever created docs like this can one day simply be acknowledged for the work we create, and not by what many will perceive as the waves we create in order to simply feel valued.”

Free Training: The Secrets of Podcast Growth on YouTube

For the coaching and production experts at Pod Sound School, video has been a complete game-changer. Tomorrow they’re partnering up with world-class YouTuber Nick Nimmin for a free, interactive training: “How to Effectively Use YouTube to Massively Grow Your Podcast Audience.”

Interested in turning a show into a video podcast? This tailored, one-hour session covers exactly what you need to get results: Why being on YouTube is a must, how to easily incorporate video into your workflow, and how to create content your audience cares about.

With 757,000 subscribers and counting, Nick Nimmin delivers actionable steps that engage video-first fans. YouTube is constantly improving its algorithm — it’s time to optimize your podcast for discovery. Join Pod Sound School tomorrow, February 27 at 10:00 am PT, or catch the replay.

Teaching is only demonstrating that it is possible. Learning is making it possible for yourself.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Break room: “We’re placing the show on pause,” confirmed Reply All host Alex Goldman in a two-minute message yesterday. As Gimlet contends with controversy over its work environment, the ill-fated “Test Kitchen” miniseries (Goldman calls it a “failure”) has been discontinued. 
  • Word search: It seems Google is bringing Live Captions to Chrome, reports Sam Rutherford of Gizmodo. Already on Android, the tool allows a mobile device to automatically transcribe any audio it’s currently playing. It’s hidden as an experimental feature but can be manually enabled.
  • Study group: For LGBTQ+ History Month in the UK, Acast asked 10 queer podcasters which moment they find the most important. Dragony Aunts co-host Candy Warhol picks Ireland’s 2015 same-sex marriage referendum: “As a proud Irish Queen that’s a moment I will never forget.”
  • House rules: Wynn Las Vegas will soon have a podcast studio in its lobby. The addition is part of a $3.5 million investment in Blue Wire, writes Ashley Carman of The Verge. The sports podcast network was handpicked by Wynn Resorts to promote WynnBet, its sports betting subsidiary.

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