Quick Hits: New voices in podcasting; the era of free music

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

How Women Are Revolutionizing How We Listen: WNYC podcast host (and featured speaker at last week’s RAIN Streaming Audio Advertising Summit) Manoush Zomorodi penned a piece in Time’s Motto website, asserting that women producers, editors, and podcast hosts are finding voices in new styles of audio storytelling. “We are in your ears and getting louder,” she says. In describing her own ascendant podcast career, which followed a 20-year journey as a broadcast journalist, Zomorodi notes that her executive producers at WNYC encouraged a more natural, less neutral hosting style. Would she be accused of “soft journalism”? the opposite — listenership quintupled.

Podcasting of a Different Color in Seattle: A new show called Hella Black Hella Seattle (abbr. HBHS) has launched in the west-coastal city which is stereotypically white. Three women have jumped into podcasting with a talk/music show that spotlights people of color. “Welcome to Hella Black Hella Seattle, creating community for people of color in Seattle,” co-host Eula Scott Bynoe starts off the inaugural show. “When people think of what a Seattle person looks like, they do not picture the three of us,” Bynoe said in an interview. “I want this to be a show that everyone listens to, not just people of color.”

Is The Era of Free Streaming Music Coming to an End?: That thesis is under examination in a Pitchfork column by Marc Hogan. He notes that 17 years have passed since the original Napster file-sharing system disrupted the music world. In that time, all consumers (and especially 17-year-olds!) have become accustomed to free music in one delivery vehicle or another. Hogan quotes one Millennial student: “Nowadays, my expectation of finding music on the internet for free is so high that I feel slightly offended when I can’t do it.” But at least free streaming generates money through ads — but that’s not the end of the story in Hogan’s article: “Streaming services appear to be approaching a point of rebalancing as they try to maximize advertising revenues from the many who don’t pony up for monthly subscriptions while at the same time finding new reasons for potential customers to pull out their credit cards.”



Brad Hill