Spotify Is Launching Two Podcasts Focused on Promoting Its Platform (Podcast News Roundup)

·5-min read

In today’s podcast news roundup, Spotify preps a pair of podcasts to highlight content trends, artists and creators on the streaming service; theSkimm launches a weekly pop-culture pod; the New York Times is beta-testing a new podcast app; Reveal and PRX investigate the death of a Black teenager in Mississippi; and more.

DATES

Spotify has created two original podcasts that point the spotlight on itself. “Spotify: Discover This” (launching Oct. 14) provides insights on music, podcasting, cultural moments and trends on the platform; the premiere episode of the new series focuses on the evolution of country music and showcases new emerging artists that Spotify users are discovering. (Spotify has recategorized 11 episodes it has released since August 2020, originally part of its “For the Record” series, under the “Discover This” moniker.) “Spotify: Mic Check” (premiering Oct. 19) will feature interviews with musicians and podcasters on the service, along with exclusive recordings and personal stories (listen to the trailer at this link). Those will join “Spotify: For the Record” (Season 3 premiering Oct. 28), the audio streamer’s podcast for the business and financial community, which includes earnings-reports discussions, company news, product launches and business updates.

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HBO is launching a companion podcast for Season 3 of HBO drama series Succession,” which premieres Sunday, Oct. 17. The weekly podcast, hosted by journalist Kara Swisher, will be available on all major podcast platforms after each episode airs on HBO Max. Swisher will unpack the TV show’s family dynamics — and its capitalism run amok — with journalists, writers, cultural critics and other guests, including some of the people who made the show. Produced by HBO in conjunction with Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios. Listen to the trailer for the podcast on YouTube at this link.

Apple on Oct. 20 will release “Hooked,” a podcast following the story of Tony Hathaway, whose addiction to OxyContin — and later heroin — led him from being a Boeing engineer earning six figures and flying around the world to becoming one of the most prolific bank robbers in U.S. history, hunted by the FBI while hitting 30 Seattle-area banks in one year. “Hooked” is based on original reporting and interviews conducted over three years by Campfire Media co-founder and journalist Josh Dean.

The Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal and PRX are set to debut “Mississippi Goddam: The Ballad of Billey Joe,” on Oct. 16. The seven-part series will be available on all major podcast platforms and 544 public radio stations nationwide, with new episodes on Saturdays. Host Al Letson and co-reporter Jonathan Jones investigate the death of Billey Joe Johnson, a 17-year-old Black student and top high school football recruit who reportedly died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound after being pulled over by a white police officer in Lucedale, Miss., on Dec. 8, 2008. Now, after years of reporting, Letson and Jones have unearthed troubling questions and a deeply flawed investigation by law enforcement.

theSkimm launched “Pop Cultured With theSkimm,” a weekly pop culture podcast covering trending stories, on Oct. 12 on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and other major platforms. Hosted by theSkimm’s Bridget Armstrong, whose producer credits include “Switched On Pop” and “Land of the Giants: The Netflix Effect,” the first few episodes will cover the recent controversies around rapper Nicki Minaj, the backlash over CBS’s new show “The Activist,” and what’s next in the Britney Spears conservatorship drama. New episodes air every Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET. (Listen to the trailer at this link.) The new show joined theSkimm’s news podcast, “Skimm This,” and career podcast, “9 to 5ish.”

The Wall Street Journal on Oct. 12 launched its first serialized podcast franchise, “Bad Bets.” Each season of the show will focus on one business drama that has had a major impact. The first season focuses on the rise and fall of Enron, 20 years after the energy giant’s collapse, hosted by WSJ reporters John Emshwiller and Rebecca Smith. “Bad Bets” is available on wsj.com/podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other platforms.

DEALS

SiriusXM‘s Stitcher signed a three-year agreement with comedy horror podcast “The Last Podcast on the Left” to distribute the show on podcast platforms and RSS feeds in 2022. In addition, the original creators — Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks and Henry Zebrowski — will host a live weekly radio show starting in February 2022 on SiriusXM’s Faction Talk (channel 103), where they will take calls from fans and listeners. Under the pact, Stitcher will have exclusive rights to manage all audio and video ad sales for “The Last Podcast on the Left.”

PodcastOne announced the addition of “True Crime All the Time Unsolved” and “This Is Monsters” to its slate of true-crime podcasts. The company will lead production, sales, distribution and marketing for both shows, which are now available on the PodcastOne platform, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon and other platforms. “True Crime All the Time,” created by Ohio-based bankers Mike Ferguson and Mike Gibson in January 2017, is a weekly series that guides listeners through the unsolved true crime cases. “This Is Monsters” began as a pandemic project YouTube show from Jiles, a Washington State-based construction worker, about some of the gnarliest crimes in history.

APPS

The New York Times is looking for beta testers for its new New York Times Audio app, which will feature programming from Times podcasts (including “The Daily”), the paper’s articles, partners including New York magazine and Rolling Stone (which like Variety is owned by P-MRC), and new audio formats from Times staffers. The app also will feature the 25-year archive of “This American Life.” Last month, the Times began experimenting with “Listen,” a tab in its news app that features a selection of stories read aloud by the reporters who wrote them. New York Times Audio will be available as an iPhone app in a closed beta (request an invitation at this link). The initial beta is a free and the app will remain free when it launches publicly.

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