Quick Hits: A trio of podcast stories covering labels, Arabic culture, and addiction

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

Labels eye more podcast projects: We covered Sony’s new, currently unnamed joint venture in podcasting last week, but it’s not the only label moving into the space. Billboard collected the music industry’s recent actions around podcasts in a recent feature. Labels may be angling for new ways to get their catalogs into listeners’ ears, and the growing popularity of podcasts, especially on platforms that also provide streaming music, could be a way for those companies to achieve that goal.

Podcasting in the Middle East: The current boom in podcasting is proving to be an international phenomenon. The National explored the popularity of podcasts in the Arabic world. “It’s a digital revival of a long-term tradition,” said Hebah Fisher, co-founder and CEO of Kerning Cultures, tying it to a longstanding tradition of oral storytelling in the Middle East. “People have realized that there is a thing called podcasts that can fill the most mundane part of your day and make it magical.”

A podcast addict goes cold turkey: How many podcasts is too many? Joe Berkowitz of Fast Company, a self-identified podcast addict, penned an essay about his experience spending two weeks on hiatus from listening to any shows. “I don’t need statistics, though, to fuel my suspicions that walking around listening to other people’s voices all the time, and allowing that to become my default cognitive setting, has probably warped my way of thinking and sapped some creativity,” he said in explaining the cold turkey experiment. His outcomes may not be surprising, but if you’ve been feeling a bit like an addict yourself, a reminder may be welcome.


Anna Washenko