Podcasts Are Definitely a Thing

Podcasting has been around since at least the late 90s. Dismissed as a fad for years–or, at the very least, something that nerds did for free with no hope of ever monetizing things–podcasts are now enjoying a renaissance. And with this resurgence comes new respect for the medium. As a co-host of a podcast myself (cf. Geeks&Beats), this pleases me to no end.  RAIN reports further.

Last week  iHeartMedia hosted a “Soundfront” to introduce a slate of new podcasts. It borrowed (and renamed) the model of Upfronts from the television industry, where new shows are introduced to advertisers and agencies.

Today National Public Radio (NPR) will hold an upfront (no renaming in this case) for marketers, where leading public radio podcasts will be shown off as advertising opportunities. The NPR event will be co-produced by flagship stations WNYC (New York) and WBEZ (Chicago). Hosts and producers from This American LifeFreakonomics RadioWait, Wait, Don’t Tell MeRadiolab, and (of course) Serial, will be onstage. A music performance by Lord Huron is scheduled.

(If you’re wondering about advertising on NPR, FCC restrictions on commercials in NPR broadcasts do not apply to digital platforms, so podcasts of NPR programs carry ads that sound more or less like ads in other podcasts.)

Both of these podcast upfront-style events are timed to synchronize with the 2015 Digital Content NewFronts, a week-long exhibition of digital video products aimed at TV advertisers.

This is only gonna get bigger. Keep reading.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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