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Week 12


Readings / Discussion

Spinelli and Dann. Podcasting. Ch 09.

  • Success / value / independence: even a top-ranked podcast may not be 'fundable'
  • tensions between “plucky indy gone viral” narrative AND mass market
    • Herring - creative control: prosumer abundance 203
    • Pip - narrow casting, constructing an audience
    • Low fi = high engagement, including pros who opt to work without oversight
  • Neo-liberal shark tank
    • most podcasts fail
    • emphasis on new listeners (212)
    • native advertising (authenticity) and risk aversion (keep your audience)
    • precariat - (215); the web is open, but you need to be able to afford the risks of working in the “freemium” economy 215
  • Networks and differences
    • Radiotopia (successful podcasts supported)
    • Gimlet, 'talent' hired and developed IF they make a profit (investor)
  • Community - is focus on the market warranted? 226 or should we look at how it gives people “a voice, and offers them creative freedom and the chance to become part of a thriving community of independents” (226)


We have been primarily interested in the aesthetic and cultural dimensions of audio podcasting. It began as a niche activity and many of the most important podcasts were made by independent creators reflecting the “liminal” status of the genre and technology. Yet, increasingly it is also big business. Perhaps we will decide that mass-market podcasts are really something different from those which we've studied; eventually, the “segmentation” of podcasting may give us new and better categories. More pessimistically, the success of podcasting in market terms may signal the end for high-production art and low-production niche forms.

Let's review some of this market research and see what we can infer.


Podcasts due next class. You must save/export these as an MP3. Be sure to check your final volume with headphones (if you need to turn your volume up past 80% to hear, there is a problem; if you need to constantly adjust volume for variations lound/soft, there is a problem!)

week_12.txt · Last modified: 2020/11/16 23:02 by