Issue 176,  published September 11, 2018

Miscellaneous Bites: September 11, 2018

Daily news podcast news roundup.

  • The day after the whole anonymous New York Times op-ed brouhaha dropped last week, I thought The Daily found itself in a reaaaaally interesting place: stuck firmly between being the voice of the paper and a proxy for the reader in a situation where there’s an impenetrable gap between the two. The end result flew straight down the unsatisfying middle (at least for me), perhaps understandably. In my mind, it’s yet another expression of a persistent question: what’s the most appropriate way for the podcast to stand in relation to the paper? And more crucially, what is the positionality of the podcast when the organization is, itself, the source of news?
  • On a related note: WaPo appears to be staffing for a sizable team to produce its flagship daily news podcast. (WashPost PR)
  • The Guardian — which Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently called “the most insufferable newspaper on planet Earth” — is also developing a flagship daily news podcast, and the org tapped political editor Anushka Asthana to host it. They have also built a sizable team behind the show, which includes Leo Hornak as executive producer and The New Yorker Radio Hour’s Mythili Rao as lead producer.

Meanwhile, across the pond [by Caroline Crampton]. There’s plenty going in the UK podcast scene in the next month or so. To wit:

Number of the Week
7

That’s the number of camera cuts in this slightly awkward 35-second video promo for the upcoming episode of Slow Burn, dropping September 12, which will feature Linda Tripp. Which is to say: that’s a heckuva lot of cuts. Look, as I said on Twitter, I think Leon Neyfakh is cool as all hell, and I’ve been loving the second season, but DAMN is it hard to make podcast production look glamorous.

Miscellaneous Bites

  • The 9to5Google blog has unearthed what appears to be early conceptual designs of Google’s experimental “Shortwave” podcast app, whose existence was first reported last month. A spokesperson for the company told the blog that those designs are “not representative” of the current product. I’d counsel keeping an eye on this development… and to not take it too seriously. For now, it’s a minor curiosity at best. (9to5Google)
  • Twitter is apparently launching an “audio-only broadcasting” feature. Shades of early Anchor and Bumpers, which have since evolved into a different value proposition and shut down, respectively, but also shades of its own history: let’s not forget that Twitter began life as Odeo, one of the first podcast directories and publishing platforms, which pivoted into whatever it became today after Apple began including podcasts into iTunes. Back to the beginning, but no longer the same. (Twitter)
  • Meanwhile, over in Newark, we’re still seeing considerable activity around whatever Audible’s Originals initiative has become: the audiobook giant is now offering two free Audible Originals products to members every month. (Engadget)