In this week’s podcasting news: Current debuts new podcast about public media; NPR Labs gives an update on viral audio experiments; are audiobooks benefiting from the podcast boom?
Current Invites You to the Pub
Current, the print and digital news source covering public media, just launched its own weekly podcast, The Pub. It’s hosted by Adam Ragusea, a public radio journalist and a visiting professor of journalism at Mercer University. It’s
The first episode features an interview with Canadian podcaster Jesse Brown who helped break the news of CBC radio host Jian Gomeshi’s alleged history of sexual assaults against women. Future guests include former Marketplace Money host Tess Vigeland on why she left her dream job, and veteran NPR contributor Jacki Lyden who discusses why public media should take fashion seriously.
The new show makes for a nice complement to WNYC’s On the Media, while with The Pub it looks like we can expect more radio-centric coverage. Starting with the Gomeshi story is a strong indicator that The Pub is willing to be critical, and the first episode gives me every incentive to click subscribe.
This Is the Audio that Might Go Viral
NPR Labs is working on the hard question of what makes audio go viral. In light of the exploding and unexpected popularity of Serial last fall, it certainly seems like the proposition that audio can’t be viral has become more suspect.
Eric Athas reports on the effort the NiemanLab. NPR Labs worked with 12 stations in two six-week pilot projects experimenting with ways to get people to share and interact with audio. The experiment included 44 audio pieces with an accumulated 500,000 listens, with an overall listen rate of 56%. Not too shabby.
Based on this data NPR Labs broke things down into four types of audio people are likely share: Audio Explainers, Whoa! Sounds, Storytellers and Snappy Reviews. Read the whole piece to get the full lowdown.
As Go Podcasts, So Go Audiobooks?
Finally, journalist and creative strategist Simon Owens dropped me a line to let me know about a recent post he wrote, asking the question if audiobooks are benefiting from the podcast boom.
Not to spoil things too much, but it looks like the answer is yes, they are. Owens talks with folks from Penguin Random House Audio and Audible who describe the current trend, which does look a lot like podcasting.