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    Podcast Week: The titles catching Sam Cavanagh’s attention, iHeart and The Athletic join forces

    Compiled by Tess Connery

    ‘The best podcast producers in the country work with us’: Sam Cavanagh on the reasons to love podcasting

    As the head of entertainment and culture at LiSTNR, Sam Cavanagh has his finger firmly on the pulse of everything to do with podcasts.

    Podcast Week’s Tess Connery caught up with Cavanagh to speak about the podcasts catching his attention and what the team are working towards next. 

    The last 12 months have been very busy for the LiSTNR team. What have some of the highlights been for the entertainment and culture team?

    “We’ve been really lucky with our recruitment, I can honestly say the best podcast producers in the country work with us, which makes my job really fun. 

    “In terms of shows in the most recent months, we’ve relaunched Bizarre with Mick Molloy and Titus O’Reilly. Those guys launched their podcast Sports Bizarre under 12 months ago, and it’s already in the top 50 of the podcast ranker. They’ve extended it now to All Bizarre

    “I spent about two years trying to convince Lucy and Nikki from Happy Hour to join LiSTNR. At one point I thought they would either send me a cease and desist letter or just tell me to piss off but it’s been great having them. They’re just so funny and work really hard. They’re everything you want in talent.

    “What still amazes me about Hamish and Andy is given their success, they still work as hard on the podcast week in and week out as they did 15 years ago when they were doing the radio show. The work ethic and the focus on the audience is the same now as it was back then. When you’re in the industry as long as I have, it’s just great to see.”

    Podcast Week: The titles catching Sam Cavanagh’s attention, iHeart and The Athletic join forces

    Sam Cavanagh

    What are you looking for when finding podcasts to join the LiSTNR entertainment and culture stable?

    “Within entertainment and culture, we’ve got three main subgenres – that’s comedy, health and wellness, and pop culture. First, the content has to fit within those genres. 

    “When you’re talking about migrating existing shows over to LiSTNR, we’re generally looking for where we can help. That’s where a creator has managed to get the show and audience to a certain level by themselves, and would like the assistance of producers, social content creators, marketing, promotion, strategic support, or performance feedback to get them to the next level.”

    Are there any particular trends emerging that show what listeners are resonating with at the moment?

    “No. That’s what’s beautiful about podcasting – there are so many different styles, genres, niches. It’d be impossible to pick trends. 

    “One myth is that if someone has a really high profile, it means they’ll have a successful podcast. I don’t think there’s any evidence to support that. We spoke about Lucy and Nikki from Happy Hour, they’re not household names, but they’re number 13 on the podcast ranker. There are plenty of very, very famous people with podcasts who have nowhere near the audience that they do. 

    “It’s one of the reasons I love podcasting, it’s so much more democratic. Something has to be good to work, you can’t just promote something and have it be successful. It has to be good.”

    Where are you and your team focusing your attention for the rest of the year?

    “Our goal every day, as with everything we make and publish, is to try and get it in front of the largest possible audience and then monetise it as effectively as possible. I know that sounds like a corporate answer, but all my conversations with our creators and all our producers are about what we’re making and how we get that in front of more people.

    “We are always trying to grow the audiences, it’s really as simple as that.”

    ARN’s iHeart and The Athletic join forces to power up Australia’s sports podcast scene

    ARN’S iHeart has announced an ad sales partnership in Australia with The Athletic. The alliance aims to expand the Australian sports podcast landscape, offering significant access and opportunities for advertisers to engage a previously untapped audience at scale.

    arn the athletic

    The Athletic is known for its storytelling and analysis, offering listeners a unique perspective on the world of sports. From breaking news to exclusive interviews, The Athletics’ teams of journalists deliver content that resonates with sports fans through flagship podcasts including The Athletic FC Podcast, The Totally Football Show with James Richardson and No Dunks.

    Crime at Bedtime, from the host and creator of One Minute Remaining and Wanted

    In September 2022, former Australian radio host Jack Laurence took a leap of faith into the world of podcasting. He quit his radio career of 15 years to launch his first True Crime show called One Minute Remaining – Stories from the Inmates.

    Crime at Bedtime

    In August 2023, Laurence released his second crime show Wanted, a short 12 part series which also topped the charts and has amassed over 300,000 downloads.

    Now he has launched his third crime podcast offering called Crime at Bedtime. The show aims to mix mindfulness and breathing exercises with one of the most popular podcast genres, with Laurence returning as the host, each week he’ll tell a crime story from around the world, aiming to bring people a mix of well know stories and ones you may not have heard before.

    [Listen to Crime at Bedtime here]

    Liz Ellis and DM Podcasts launch No Dribble podcast

    DM Podcasts has joined forces with former Australian Diamonds Captains Liz Ellis AO and Catherine Cox AM and their pal of twenty years, comedian Carolyn Swindell, to launch No Dribble, a podcast for the community that surrounds and supports Australia’s most popular sport for female participation, netball.

    No Dribble

    Ellis said, “No Dribble starts with our friendship and our love of netball as a launchpad to talk about the things that matter to women. And let’s face it, there’ll also be talk about things that really don’t matter but are a good chat anyway.”

    No Dribble is described as being the next-best thing to touring with the Diamonds, reminiscent of the best and most entertaining conversations netball lovers have had on the way to netball, on the side-lines at netball, and at the pub after netball.

    [Listen to No Dribble here]

    Podcast Week: Sam Cavanagh

    The post Podcast Week: The titles catching Sam Cavanagh’s attention, iHeart and The Athletic join forces appeared first on Mediaweek.

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