2022-Why every new TV show has a podcast

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When Recreation of Thrones was in its prime in 2014, I used to be actually, actually annoying about it. All I wished to do was discuss concerning the present and books, and I used to be working out of people in my life who cared sufficient about it. Podcasting as an trade was far much less developed than it’s now, however there have been nonetheless loads of GOT recap and evaluation pods to feed my obsession — some good, like Boars, Gore and Swords and A Solid of Kings, and a few very dangerous, which I gained’t title as a result of it was eight years in the past and we’re all totally different individuals now. They allowed me to obsess over particulars, criticize the present when vital (which was typically), and, perhaps most significantly, stored me awake on my 4AM commute to MSNBC.

Impressed by grassroots recap podcasts, official podcasts for TV reveals are actually all over the place. In the present day, I check out how companion podcasts have grow to be highly effective advertising instruments in Hollywood.

Plus, Spotify will get a brand new head of podcast tech and The Atlantic provides an inside have a look at Steve Bannon’s huge, however precarious, podcast empire.

Rise of the companion pods

Likelihood is, if there’s a present you like (or hatewatch), there’s a recap podcast for it. And the studios have caught smart. A number of years in the past, studios began making their very own “official” podcasts as companions to their reveals, and in the present day, it will probably really feel like each present is getting one: podcasts for Hacks, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and The Staircase debuted in simply the previous month. Producers say these reveals are comparatively simple to make, and so they’ve grow to be highly effective advertising instruments for studios, commonly hanging out on the prime of Apple and Spotify’s TV & Movie charts, and sometimes cracking the highest 100 general.

Companion podcasts aren’t the identical because the homegrown stuff — they typically have increased manufacturing values and larger stars, because of their studio budgets, and so they don’t precisely flip a important eye to the supply materials. However listeners are nonetheless consuming them up.

“These studios and showrunners of TV reveals are merely attempting to satisfy their viewers the place they already are, and so they’re already listening to podcasts,” says Will Malnati, whose firm At Will Media has produced companion podcasts for Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV Plus. “So let’s not make it troublesome for them to sort of connect themselves to one thing that offers them slightly extra behind the scenes.”

Behind the scenes content material was once a perk for many who purchased or rented a DVD. If executed appropriately, the podcast model may be an occasion in and of itself. For the second iteration of Succession’s podcast, HBO tapped journalist Kara Swisher to interview public figures like Mark Cuban and Anthony Scaramucci, along with individuals who labored on the present. The podcast peaked on Apple’s prime 100 at quantity 16. And whereas the primary season of The Downside with Jon Stewart reportedly had disappointing ratings, its extra informal companion podcast has carried out a lot better. It debuted on the prime of Apple and Spotify’s charts final fall and lingered within the prime 100 for months after.

“Podcasting affords us to go lots deeper, and I feel achieve this in a means that’s cost-effective,” says Michael Gluckstadt, who labored on digital and video advertising content material for HBO earlier than turning into the studio’s director of podcasts. “Behind the scenes movies are costly, you want total movie crews to do it … We put plenty of work into our podcasts and we do plenty of manufacturing on them. However comparatively, it’s nothing like movies.”

Not solely are companion podcasts low-cost, however they don’t must make cash. The Wire at 20, HBO’s look-back podcast on the critically acclaimed present, sits at quantity 87 on Apple Podcasts. In contrast to principally each different present within the prime 100, it doesn’t have a single advert, as a result of advert cash isn’t the purpose. The objective is to get followers who love, or as soon as liked, the present to rediscover it and join HBO Max (or at the least keep their subscriptions). A survey carried out by HBO Max discovered that 85 p.c of those that listened to a program’s official podcast felt extra linked to the present.

The podcasts additionally typically transcend the scope of speaking concerning the present, and attempt to mimic different well-liked podcast genres. The primary season of For All Mankind’s podcast was for house freaks, that includes interviews with astronauts and exploring the state of the house program. With Insurgent Robin: Surviving Hawkins, Netflix created a fictional, in-universe spookcast starring Maya Hawke that gave followers one thing to chew on throughout Stranger Issues’ three-year break. For The Official Gilded Age Podcast, HBO tapped Turner Traditional Films host Alicia Malone and Bowery Boys co-host Tom Meyers to dig into the historical past behind the present.

“It’s much less about sort of {dollars} and cents ROI and extra about fanbase ROI, which serves the aim of producing buzz and visibility,” Malnati says.

It appears to perform that elusive factor that manufacturers are all the time attempting, and infrequently failing, to attain: advertising that doesn’t really feel like advertising. Netflix tried to generate fandom with Tudum, poaching leisure journalists to provide interviews and different bonus content material. It didn’t click on, and the corporate fired a lot of Tudum’s employees in April. Nonetheless, it doesn’t seem that anybody from Netflix’s podcasting group was laid off.

In keeping with Becky Rho, director of podcast content material at HBO, a part of why podcasting succeeds the place different digital advertising content material fails is that it doesn’t ask an excessive amount of of followers. “There’s a profit proper to this being an audio medium. It’s extra of a lean-back expertise for the viewers,” she says. “They will put it on their AirPods, put it on their speaker, and simply hear whereas they’re doing different issues.”

Spotify will get a brand new head of podcasting tech

Spotify has discovered a substitute for Michael Mignano, the Anchor co-founder who led the corporate’s podcast and discuss tech stack for the previous three years. Mignano introduced his departure in Could, and can go away on the finish of the month. Discuss R&D director Maya Prohovnik will take his spot, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Prohovnik, who was the VP of product at Anchor, got here to Spotify with Mignano after the 2019 acquisition. Spotify declined to touch upon the matter, however Mignano appeared to substantiate Prohovnik’s appointment in a tweet Monday afternoon.

“Supreme confidence in @mayafish, arguably the very best product chief I do know,” he tweeted. “After working collectively for greater than a decade, I’ve little question she’ll be taking the Discuss audio group/technique, @anchor, and @Spotify to new heights ”

Prohovnik’s promotion is the most recent transfer in Spotify’s government reshuffle. Final month, Max Cutler, Invoice Simmons, and Julie McNamara had been all promoted within the wake of head of studios Courtney Holt’s departure. A substitute for head of Gimlet Lydia Polgreen has not but been introduced.

A glance inside Bannon’s podcast empire

On Monday, The Atlantic published an enchanting have a look at far-right nationalist Steve Bannon’s podcast operation. He insists Conflict Room is a TV present, not a podcast (okay!), even though he has one of many greatest political podcasts round. It shouldn’t shock anybody that, in accordance with a Brookings Institution study, his present had probably the most episodes pushing election disinformation of any well-liked political podcast.

The article additionally factors to attainable monetary hassle together with his enterprise. Bannon claims it’s a “money machine,” and that he added a fourth hour to accommodate all his sponsors. However he seems to lack mainstream advertisers, relying as a substitute on Mike Lindell’s MyPillow and Birch Gold Group, a valuable metals IRA that touts endorsements from Ben Shapiro and Ron Paul. It can also’t assist that Bannon’s election lies have gotten his present banned from YouTube and Spotify, the 2 greatest podcast platforms, in accordance with a current examine from Cumulus. Conflict Room continues to be allowed on Apple Podcasts, nevertheless, the place it at present ranks at quantity 136.

That’s all for in the present day! For Insiders, I might be again on Thursday with the products from Spotify’s investor day.



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