The Mario Blog
06.06.2017—1am
The battle for your ears

Everyone fights for our attention. Advertisers (and online editors) try hard to get more eyeballs on their ads and stories. Now, media houses also want our ears in attention. Enter the newsy podcasts.

Every morning, I get an alert on my Apple Watch to the New York Times’ podcast.  Specifically, the alert tells me that Michael (as in Michael Barbaro, editor of the Times’ The Daily) has a story that I may be interested in. Sometimes I am, many times I am not, but the Times pushes hard to seduce me to hear the podcast.

Podcasts are the rave. True, they have been around for several years, but I think 2017 has been a definitive year.  A recent article compared The Times’ The Daily against NPR’s UpFirst:

Art courtesy of the Nieman Lab, http://www.niemanlab.org

The Daily is unambiguously superior to NPR’s offering on a number of levels where it counts — particularly in terms of the way it achieves what it has set out to do, and the way it has definitively furthered the experience of news consumption in the podcast format.

The Times’s podcast lasts 20 minutes a day, five days a week,  “The Daily” began airing just after Donald J. Trump’s inauguration.

According to the Times, the podcast is already “a chart-topping success” and it has been downloaded more than 40 million times. It posts each weekday morning at 6 and provides an in-depth explanation of key news events.

All roads lead to podcasts

For anyone who needs convincing that podcasts are hot, there is even a Hot Pod newsletter.

 

There are even podcast conventions and festivals.

And, did you know that Seattle is the ultimate podcast city?

Like TV and radio, the cult of personalities is important in podcasting. Take the Times’ Michael Barbaro, for example.  When those Times alerts come into my Apple Watch, they usually tell me that “Michael”( no last name) will be dealing with this subject or another.

The article mentioned here also makes a reference to this point:

“…..the show’s choice to heavily tether its perspective on its host, Michael Barbaro, a move that highlights the trickiness of that emotional ambition (see that one episode about the coal miner, where your mileage may vary, or even roll backward). There also exists the question of how The Daily might function, or whether it can remain as strong, should Barbaro need to take a week off or, oh I don’t know, decide to work for WaPo or something. It’s a classic question of high-level media production: the choice between the vessel or the talent, and it is here that Up First’s more conservative choice to lean on the voice of the institution feels more solid. (Don’t believe in the king, NPR’s gambit seems to say, believe in the kingdom.)

Barbaro is, indeed, the power behind The Daily.  In a recent appearance , he joined NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” on to discuss the origins of The Times’s popular podcast and the behind-the-scenes of how the show gets created every weekday.

“Very smart people at The New York Times went out and hired very smart people from the world of audio who thought it would be a brilliant idea to take the engine that is The New York Times newsroom and transform it into sound, and to create an incredibly powerful and intimate relationship with the journalists at The Times and your ears. And its been really successful and so fun.”

The Times’ Daily Briefing often includes a teaser to The Daily, as this one last week, just before we were to find out if President Trump would pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Speaking Engagements Coming Up

SIPConnect 2017, to be held in Miami June 21-23, is a program of the Inter American Press Association, IAPA, or SIP (Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa).  The venue will be the Hilton Miami Downtown Hotel.

Details:

Join us at the SIPConnect Hemispheric Conference 2017. Organized by the IAPA, SIPConnect is a gathering of media and digital businesses to encourage more audiences and higher revenues. It’s a laboratory for new ideas and successful experiences for the digital transformation. As in the 2016 successful meeting that was attended by media from the US, Latin America and the Caribbean, experts in digital businesses and representatives of innovative companies will participate in this event.

For more informationhttp://www.sipiapa.org/notas/1211078-llamado-sipconnect-2017

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