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Insider: January 10, 2019

A live branded show, Spotify signs another exclusive, and CES watch.

Murder Money. Spotted this press release floating around:

TNT announced today that its thrilling new true crime series I Am the Night is teaming up with the hit podcast My Favorite Murder to bring an exclusive live episode hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark on January 15th at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles. This unique partnership marks a first for the My Favorite Murder team, as the podcast has never partnered with a television network in support of an upcoming drama series.

Two observations:

  • As far as advertising integrations go, this strikes me as really, really smart. Natural fit with the live show set-up, and it seems a meaningful way for the advertised product — a new limited thriller series starring the sexy, sexy Chris Pine — to reach an audience that’s likely to check it out/love it in a way that just can’t quite with most other media products.
  • The My Favorite Murder duo is having quite a moment. They recently launched a new podcast sub-network through Stitcher called Exactly Right, and they’re due to publish a book based on the podcast in May.

This isn’t directly related but I just wanted to make a note of it: I need to update and edit my general theory on the LA-Hollywood-celebrity nexus. More on that TK.

Another Spotify exclusive: this time with Jemele Hill, the journalist and former ESPN Sportscenter host who joined The Atlantic in October as a senior staff writer. Here’s the Deadline write-up on the matter. (Speaking of which: doesn’t the Atlantic have their own podcast operation?) The podcast, called Unbothered, will drop in March, and it seems to be keeping within the streaming platform’s existing celebrity-centric content strategy; its podcast portfolio includes The Joe Budden Show and that thing they do with Amy Schumer.

CES-watch. Like I mentioned on Tuesday, I’m not at CES — not my scene! — but some readers told me of some goings-on in Las Vegas. Namely, panel stuff: still-NPR CEO Jarl Mohn and iHeartMedia’s Bob Pittman re-upped their two-man act; Wondery’s Hernan Lopez was one on adaptations; Luminary’s Matt Sacks shared a stage with Conal Byrne, who now holds the title of president of iHeartMedia Podcast Network. (Which, I think, sets an interesting precedent for platforms to straight-up buy content companies and turn them into their own personal content divisions. We’ll probably see more of this.) That panel, by the way, was moderated by Oren Rosenbaum of UTA.

Google announced the first cohort of their creators program. They are teams AfroQueer (Maeve Francis, Aida Holly-Nambi, Selly Thiam) from Nairobi, Kenya; Las Raras (Martín Cruz, Catalina May) from Santiago, Chile; Timestorm (Michael Aquino, Dania Ramos) from New Jersey, USA; Long Distance (Patrick Epino, Paola Mardo) from California, USA; The Colored Girl Beautiful (Aseloka Smith) from Maryland, USA; Who Taught You How To Drive!? (Tanikka Charraé, Melissa Tsuei, Tezarah Wilkins) from Pennsylvania, USA. Details on the site.

Related: “Google is rolling out Android Auto support for Podcasts” (Android Police)

Hmmm… Ad Age on the New Yorker’s podcast output: “These elegantly produced shows are by definition niche media, and yet they’ve collectively been reaching critical mass, with total podcast downloads rising 35% year-over-year to 3 million in 2018.” How are they cutting that, I wonder? Doesn’t… seem like a lot.

Not directly podcast-related, but I’m reading… “The 30 Percent App Fees Are Too Damn High: Big companies including Epic Games and Netflix are rising up against Apple’s commissions” on Bloomberg Businessweek.