After the Podcast’s Gold Rush, Is Audio Too Right to Be Cool?

back in 2005, Podcast He was Word of the year for the New Oxford American Dictionary. In June of that year, Steve Jobs, in his signature black turtleneck, presented the podcast as an integral part of Apple’s future. “What is podcasting?” he Requested. (One way) it has been described is Wayne’s world for radio, which means that anyone can, without a lot of capital investment, make a podcast, put it on a server, and get a global audience for their radio show. Jobs declared that this was “the hottest thing to happen on radio.”

Nearly two decades later, a great deal of podcasting strategies are still based on the idea that anyone can create a podcast. For streamers though, that often means investing in people who already have worldwide audiences but minimal familiarity with the medium. There was a time not too long ago when all the celebrities and their moms and Ex-President He wanted a podcast, and signed multimillion-dollar deals to do so. But now, though, listeners continuously Throughout the year, podcasts Still expected As a billion dollar industry, beloved new media seems to have lost its cultural stamp. I’d like to know, I’m one of the many people who’ve been following the West Gold Rush podcast. After a brief period Prince Harry And Meghan MarkleBig turnout opera In an interview, she moved to Los Angeles to work as Head of Audio. Skip forward a few years: Deals dissolved, priorities shifted, shows closed, studios closed closedIt was hundreds of people laid off – laid off temporarilyand word Podcast Same leaves some of us cringing.

Davey Gardner Enjoys aspects of job definition Podcasts. “It reminds people that podcasting is specifically something that many people can do and that many people can access,” says Gardner, president of Tribeca Audio. But when the Tribeca Festival partnered with Audible to include podcasts two years ago, they named the category Telling stories with sound which Gardner says best encompasses “a whole lineage that approached it, like a piece of music or a text, or something that is a sculpture, in some way—a real art form.” Gardner thinks about when people use the word podcast, They imagine unmodified chat programs like The Joe Rogan Experience. “It’s as if people used the word the television It was their only thought the view.”

These days, Sam Sanders Also, it cannot locate the right place for its brand. “I was in this existential place with the headlines,” the former political reporter turned podcast host told me. “I don’t always just do journalism anymore. I do a lot of personal annotations about my life. I kind of see myself now as ‘speaking for a living’.”

I heard Sanders’ voice for the first time NPR Politics Podcast, During the 2016 elections. “Hello everyone!” He would begin each episode, with upbeat patriotic music, bringing his Texas spot to the stern news coverage. Now, he hosts two podcasts, Vulture InsideAnd Where he explores how to find meaning in popular culture; and the weekly chat show Stitcher check vipwhich he co-hosted with two other black queer creatives (an anomaly in the overwhelming majority of Space white male podcast). “If I feel good about what I make,” he said to me, over a dirty martini, “I don’t care what you call it.”

However, Sanders knows what I mean when I say podcasting has lost its outward appearance. “On the one hand, when I think of the podcasts I love, I have nothing but warm feelings for them.” But when he thinks of podcasting as a term, he thinks it’s “almost pejorative.”

For Sanders, podcasts probably have less of an image problem and more of an administrative one. “This is where the conversation about podcasts becomes most effective,” he says. “The conversation is about what the podcasters want and not enough about what the listeners want.” He echoes sentiments I’ve heard many podcasters share: “What none of us liked to watch over the past several years is that it felt like the people who were getting the most power and money to make these things seemed the least interested in the craft.”

Drive down Melrose Street past a lot of Paramount Pictures any day of the week, and you’ll see that this cheapness of craft isn’t unique to the podcast sector. Crowds of writers and actors all over Hollywood share this tension. “We’ve lost actual sensitivity to the fact that all of us involved in composing and listening, are human beings. Actual human beings, with actual needs and wants,” he says. Sanders, whose main cadence has been to dissect our moment through a cultural lens, cuts through the point, looking me in the eyes across our shared booth. “It’s an honor to be a part of people’s lives. I don’t want to see this work as just a business. It’s a service and a privilege. People listen to me and take me with them at the most intimate time of their day. What an honor.”

Like Sanders, my path to podcasting has its roots in public radio. And like many people who have found love with podcasts, the legendary host Ira Glass He was responsible for my acoustic wake-up. Glass’s voice is her trademark. Close your eyes and you might just hear it in your head: flat-shaped, slightly nasal, equal parts measured and fluid,” from WBEZ Chicago, it’s This American Life. I’m Ira Glass.”

However, Glass wins his name. “At some point I have to admit, I think that’s my name. In the same way, the name of our show, this american life, I’ve never been crazy about it,” he says. “But when you’ve been doing something for two decades, it just becomes your name. It sticks, you know? “

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