The BBC isn’t the only long-standing British institution to have woken up to the potential of podcasting recently. The Tate, which runs a whole series of major museums in London and elsewhere, has experimented with the form in the past with a series called Walks of Art, in which well known broadcasters talk about favourite works. [Ed. note: Classic.] Now, they’ve partnered with Falling Tree, a production company with a strong track record in narrative and experimental documentary storytelling, on a series of more conceptual episodes — the first one looks at “the art of dreaming”. It’s an unusual move for a branded show, to bring in quality producers and get away from the more established format of using well-known names to attract a new audience, but definitely worth keeping an eye on.
Penguin Random House, the publishing conglomerate with a major presence in London, has also started trying something new with audio recently. The company has long had a podcast that features conversations with their authors [Ed. note: Again, classic], which is fairly standard for a publisher these days. However, they also now seem to be moving into more complex productions with the launch of an original podcast series with Audioboom, Feminists Don’t Wear Pink: The Podcast, intended to accompany a book of the same name due to be published in October. It’s an interesting extension into audio of the usual publicity campaign around a new book — and further blurs the line between podcast, audiobook and book, a move also highlighted by Audible’s acquisition of audio-first books from the likes of Michael Lewis and John Scalzi. Is Penguin a publisher of podcasts as well as books now? It will depend on how this one is received, I expect.
[Ed. note: Probably worth brushing up on all those MacMillan Podcast stories I’ve been writing.]