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Tracking: April 30, 2019

Wondery has formed a “strategic partnership” with broadcast radio giant Westwood One, apparently to “create new audiences and advertising opportunities for the podcast industry.” The press release was a little vague on what this specifically entails, outside of an effort to repackage one of Wondery’s recent podcast projects, Sports Wars: Farve vs. Rodgers, as a three-hour broadcast special in early May.

RedCircle, a new startup that’s building a hosting platform to help “podcasts get promoted on other podcasts,” officially launched yesterday. The Verge’s Ashley Carman has the full details, but the key things to flag are: the startup has raised $1.5 million in seed funding, the team is mostly made up of former Uber employees, and the long game, apparently, to eventually develop into an advertising platform for the podcasts it hosts. Always keep an eye on the long game.


  • This is really cool initiative that blends a smart long-standing idea with a formal execution structure. From the UT Knight Center blog: “With ‘listening clubs,’ Radio Ambulante wants to bring Latin America closer to the podcast.” I’m told that the pilot program is successful, and that plans are in place to do more next season.
  • Cadence13 now has an “originals” division, called C13Originals, to produce podcasts whose IP they will own and derive more monetary value from. Sign of the times, I think: what’s the long game for a podcast network that doesn’t own their own shows? Here’s the Hollywood Reporter piece on the matter.
  • This American Life has hired Bim Adewunmi, former Thirst Aid Kit co-host and playwright, as a new producer (!).
  • SiriusXM is launching a new $8 plan for mobile and in-home listening… which won’t include content from Howard Stern. Here’s the Variety write-up.
  • I’m sure you heard that Mark Zuckerberg has a podcast now, and that some folks are arguing it isn’t a podcast because it seems to be only available on Spotify at the moment. Whatever the case, it’s very long, it drones, it’s mostly corporate messaging, but I’m sure it’s interesting enough for some Facebook diehards. Shout-out to that Wall Street Journal piece from a few weeks ago: “When Corporate America Joins In the Podcast Craze, ‘It Gets Boring Fast.’”
  • Overcast has introduced a new video-oriented podcast clip sharing feature to its app. Shouts to Shortcut.
  • From Fortune: “Google Assistant wants to read to your kids wherever your family goes.” Hmm.

Release Notes

  • Comedy Bang! Bang! celebrates its tenth year in operation this week… with a ten hour-long episode.
  • PBS Newshour has released its first podcast series: a four-part effort called The Last Continent, which is about “Antarctica’s unknown allure as the remote continent battles climate change.” This is the first piece led by Vika Aronson, who was hired back in January as PBS’s first podcast producer, for the organization,
  • PRX and Atlanta public radio station WABE are developing a new music podcast called Bottom of the Map. Hosted by journalist Christina Lee and researcher Dr. Regina N. Bradley, it will feature conversations about Southern hip-hop. The project is set to drop on May 20.
  • The fiction podcast Archive 81 is launching a spin-off, called Left of the Dial, that comes out tomorrow.
  • Over in the UK, the “structured reality” podcast called The Brights has returned for a second season.