Why UK Podcast Companies are Looking Past the BBC


PodMov Daily: Tuesday, March 16

Episode 391: Testing, One Two-sday

Why UK Podcast Companies are Looking Past the BBC

The BBC has long dominated audio production in Britain, writes Eshe Nelson of the New York Times. “But new podcast companies are taking inspiration from America and finding investors to shake up the industry.” Broccoli Productions founder Renay Richardson says that the BBC is stifling variety and growth.

“When I created Broccoli, I didn’t know where the money was coming from, but my main goal was not to be dependent on the BBC because every other company is,” Richardson said in an interview. The Equality in Audio Pact creator has pushed back against the BBC’s size and budget with seven-figure funding from Sony.

Jake Warren, founder of the podcast company Message Heard, says that audio production companies in Britain “have basically lived feast to famine predicated on how many BBC commissioning rounds they win.” With a second round of independent funding, he plans to “co-opt” the American approach.

On Air Fest: Podcasting Sessions Will Stream Free

From April 8-10, Brooklyn’s On Air Fest will stream free for the first time. The fifth annual audio festival will be full of podcast industry and creative programming. Among the speakers are Roxane Gay (Hear to Slay), Renay Richardson (see above!), and Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding (Switched on Pop).

Attendees of an Audible session will be able to pitch concepts to executives one-on-one, as well as go behind the scenes with the hosts of Code Switch, Apple Podcasts’ 2020 ‘show of the year.’ Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings, co-creators and former hosts of The Nod, will reunite to host programming all day Saturday. 

Entries are now open for “Official Selects,” a new platform showcasing short-form audio throughout the event. Podcasters and producers can submit new, experimental works under 10 minutes in length. The deadline for submissions, to be judged by a panel of leading audio creatives, is Friday, March 26th.

Two more weeks to go, dear readers: Now’s the time to wrap up those proposals (or start one, we don’t judge). Check details and FAQs here.

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force … When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Dance break: The Podcast Host has published a free podcast music library. Themed podcast music ‘packs’ (variations on a central tune) include an intro, an outro, a background loop for longer segments, and some stinger transitions. With attribution, tracks can be used for any project.
  • Fresh look: On Thursday at 2:00 pm ET, Libsyn will host “Demystifying Visibility: Podcast Branding Beyond the Cover Art.” In the free webinar, Libsyn Community Manager Elsie Escobar and India Jackson of Flaunt Your Fire will cover brand identity and cohesive messaging for podcasters.
  • Real smooth: Small talk is a lost art. Like him or not, Joe Rogan uses psychological techniques that grow chats into “hours of intellectual, award-winning conversations.” Julian Basić explains how lateral thinking, sincere compliments, and asking ‘Why?’ can help tone down the awkwardness.
  • Brain freeze: Can one go overboard on podcasts and Clubhouse? Heather Kelly of The Washington Post gathers stories of struggles within families. Like screen time, audio time can be a potential problem. “It all depends on how and it’s used, and how loud you have the volume turned up.”

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