Reddit launches “Upvoted” podcast

upvoted logo canvasReddit, the popular and influential social recommendation site, is aboard the podcasting train with a new show called Upvoted. The program’s mission, which perhaps rides on the coattails of Serial‘s investigative reporting style, is to dig deeper into Reddit’s most popular (i.e. upvoted) stories.

The first episode (“Episode 0”) explores the backstory of Dante Orpilla, a graphic artist who spent time in jail, became involved with Reddit during his prison term, and now works for the company. Upvoted is a sponsored show with two launch advertisers — Squarespace and Tech Hungry.

While the first episode of Upvoted is unquestionably self-referential (and is hosted by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian), some say it is too self-reverential. A review in New Republic opined: “For anyone still stinging from the disappointment of Serial‘s season one finale, this is a healthy reminder: it could always get worse.” [Italics theirs.]

Reddit has a built-in prospective audience for a new audio program, and can certainly create awareness of it quickly. Reception is generally favorable in the Reddit crowd.

Serial is the now-famous pureplay audio program credited with popularizing long-form podcast journalism during its recently ended first season. As a spin-off production of This American Life, a perennial top-5 podcast hit, Serial also had a strong promotional launching pad. Hyperbole surrounding Serial‘s success had built a meme that 2015 is the “year of the podcast,” rightly or wrongly. We expect more podcast experiments in investigative storytelling and person profiling, to catch Serial‘s tailwind.

Brad Hill