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Podcasting News: LA Podfest Recap, WashPo & FastCo on Podcast Profits

It’s been a busy week in podcasting news. Late last week saw two articles in major publications about the profitability of podcasting, and then the weekend brought the Los Angeles Podcast Festival. Finally, Tuesday, September 30, was National Podcast Day. Did you listen to your favorite podcasts?

LA Podfest Recap

Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the LA Podfest, which was anchored by some great live podcasts from the likes of Who Charted?, Never Not Funny, Superego and WTF, along with featuring panels tackling the business and practice of podcasting.

This was my first time attending any live podcast recording. Though podcasting is, obviously, an auditory medium, there is an undeniable energy in the room of a live performance. That’s probably why live events have become very common with comedy podcasts, in particular, as well as other discussion-driven shows.

On Sunday, Never Not Funny with Jimmy Pardo upped the visual quotient a bit with an from Bruce Springsteen Puppet, courtesy of frequent guest Pat Francis. It was also great to watch Marc Maron and Aisha Tyler interact in person on the Friday recording of her Girl on Guy show, and to see the man behind the voice of Spongebob Squarepants, Tom Kenny, do a guest turn on The Dana Gould Hour.

I attended quite a few panels on the business and practical side of podcasting, which were quite well attended. Podfest co-organizer Chris Mancini told me that there had been many requests to add the How To Get a Job in Podcasting panel, which was added to the program for the first time this year. I wrote a blog post about the Sponsor Relations panel for the Midroll’s blog, and will be posting another about the podcasting jobs panel soon.

I also had the distinct pleasure of meeting some influential folks in the podcasting community, including Slate’s podcast chief Andy Bowers, Rob Greenlee, former content manager for podcasts on Windows Phone and Zune at Microsoft and current PodcastOne CTO, and Roddy Swearngin and Shawn Marek from the Sideshow network.

The only problem with Podfest is that I couldn’t make it to everything I wanted to see. It’s not the organizers’ fault–there are only so many ways you can divide up one weekend. It was definitely full of good fun and energy. My sides definitely hurt from all the laughing. It’s also great how most of the podcasters hang out for the whole fest, getting a chance to be fans themselves, watching their favorite hosts in action, mingling with all other attendees.

If you missed it, I believe you can still buy access for on-demand access to the live webcast archive for the next three weeks.

Northwest Podcast Fest This Weekend

Although the LA Podfest is the biggest fan-focused podcast event in North America, other festivals are taking root. I just learned about the Northwest Podcast Fest, happening this Thursday through Sunday in Vancouver, BC. The live recordings are spread out over a few different venues, and many are already sold out.

Unlike the LA fest, the Northwest one doesn’t have any panels. The podcast lineup is focused on shows based in the Pacific Northwest and includes Savage Lovecast, Stop Podcasting Yourself and Stuff You Should Know.

WashPo and FastCo Cover Podcast Profits

Last week both the Washington Post and Fast Company published articles about the podcast business’ rising fortunes within a day of each other. The Post’s piece went live on Thursday, written by Cecilia Kang, focusing on shows like 99% Invisible and Alex Blumberg’s Startup.

Blumberg and his new podcasting startup is also the principal subject of Rebecca Greenfield’s Fast Company article, which published last Friday. Together these two articles give a good overview of how and why podcasters are making a living at their craft.

Destination DIY Joins Maximum Fun

Finally, I want to congratulate Julie Sabatier because her Destination DIY podcast was just picked up by the Maximum Fun Network. The show had been part of the Mule Radio Syndicate, which downsized this past Summer, suddenly making most of that network’s shows independent again.

Another show dropped from Mule, The Shakes, resulted in the launch of the Misfit Radio network back in July. That network now has 12 shows.

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