Podcast Week: Listening climbs, Rogan to Spotify, Em’s hit list

+ Jacqui Ooi, iHeartPodcasts, Luke Girgis, Podshape, Chasing Charlie

Podcast listening up: Infinite Dial 2020 research

Podcast listening continued to grow steadily, with 17% listening to a podcast in the last week, up from 15% in 2019 and 13% in 2018. That is one of the findings from the 2020 edition of The Infinite Dial research into digital audio habits in Australia. This was the fourth year the research has been conducted with Australian consumers.

Weekly podcast consumers listened to six podcasts per week on average. Smartphones and tablets were the devices used most often to listen to podcasts – with 85% listening this way versus 11% using a computer.

While podcasting awareness is higher in Australia than the US – 87% v 75% – the percentage of the population aged 12+ that listened to a podcast in the last month was 25% in Australia v 37% in the US. In Australia 17% of people 12+ listen to a podcast in the past week, versus 24% in the US.

The favourite places for podcast listening are in the home, in vehicles and while walking.

The Infinite Dial Australia is a comprehensive study of digital media behaviour and has been running since 2017. It was commissioned by CRA, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) via their PodcastOne subsidiary, and Triton Digital.

The Joe Rogan Experience soon a Spotify exclusive

The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE), one of the most popular podcasts in the world, is coming to Spotify via a multi-year exclusive licensing deal. And, like all podcasts and vodcasts on Spotify, it will remain free and accessible to all Spotify users.

In addition to the popular podcast format, JRE also produces corresponding video episodes, which will also be available on Spotify as in-app vodcasts.

The JRE will debut on Spotify on September 1, 2020, and become exclusively available on the platform later this year.

Joe Rogan’s popularity has waned in Australia though, the only Joe on the April Podcast Ranker chart was Joe Exotic: Tiger King at #43.

Em Rusciano’s podcast playlist

Emsolation and its host Em Rusciano were featured in Podcast Week recently. This week Rusciano has given us her list of favourite podcasts.

“There is much I listen to,” she told Mediaweek. “I like a pop culture podcast Keep It. [From the US via Crooked Media.] The Catch and Kill Podcast by Ronan Farrow is amazing. [A series from the US reporter based on his book of the same name.] Wilosophy is also amazing, I think Wil Anderson is one of our greatest interviewers. (Hamish Blake and Adam Spencer have been Wil’s guests this month. Rusciano has been a guest three times!] Shameless made by some friends of mine and they won Podcast of the Year in 2019. [A pop culture podcast hosted by Melbourne journalists Zara McDonald and Michelle Andrews.]

There are heaps. Get into them, guys. It’s a great way to pass the time. I put them on when I’m cleaning and driving.

ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network listening up 9%

ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network has reported a 9% increase in overall listening[vi] and a 14% increase in listening between the workday hours 10am and 4pm[vii].

Across the lockdown period, listening to entertainment and lifestyle podcasts – including travel, health and beauty – increased, showing a shift in audience interest towards wellbeing information and aspirational content. While streaming of news and comedy genres also increased, interestingly consumption of true crime and sports content has decreased across lockdown. This content trend was mirrored across ARN websites where a 91% increase in page views[viii] across lifestyle content was seen.


[vi] Megaphone Hosting Platform, 600k+ Australian Devices, March 2020 compared with February 2020 Time spent listening
[vii] Megaphone Hosting Platform, 600k+ Australian Devices, March 2020 compared with February 2020 Time spent listening
[viii] Data from Google Analytics. All ARN Websites February 2020 v April 2020

See also: ARN reports lockdown listening surge: Radio +10%, Podcasts +9%

What She Did Next returns for season two

As Australians begin to emerge from the upheaval of COVID-19 and the recent bushfires, a timely podcast series is shining a light on the brave choices women are making to start a new chapter in their lives and careers.

What She Did Next showcases the fascinating career stories of Australian women from a diverse range of fields, focusing on a big career or life change they’ve made and delving into the highs and lows of their experiences along the way.

Now in its second season, the show features women from rural and regional parts of the country as well as from our big cities – from creatives and entrepreneurs, to authors and activists, to women in leadership, media, politics and STEM.

“I started this podcast because I wanted to shine a light on women who are making brave choices in their lives and careers, to inspire other women who can learn from their experiences,” said creator and host Jacqui Ooi, who began her career as a journalist working in women’s magazines before moving to the non-profit sector.

“I truly believe that by sharing our unique stories, women can help each other better understand what we want for ourselves and our communities, and what the path might be to get there. It can also encourage us to think big and dream big, which we need to, to tackle the inequalities and barriers that women are still facing.”

Guests from season one include Licia Heath, CEO of Women for Election Australia, an organisation helping women learn how to run for public office; Dr Robyn Miller, founder of The Mental Load Project, an online course supporting women and their partners to share the mental load in a more equal way; and Jennifer Wittwer CSM FAHRI, internationally acclaimed gender expert, author and advocate for women’s equality, who shared the incredible story of her trailblazing military career in the Royal Australian Navy over nearly four decades.

What She Did Next is available on all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify, with new episodes released fortnightly.

Visit whatshedidnext.com.au or follow the show on Instagram @whatshedidnextpodcast.

Luke Girgis interviews Tones and I co-manager

One of the managers at the forefront of the next wave of Australian superstars is Regan Lethbridge; co-founder of Lemon Tree Music who co-manages Tones and I, Tash Sultana, Pierce Brothers and more.

What he has achieved with his co-founder David Morgan is nothing short of remarkable, together they have turned a humble, independent music management business into a global powerhouse.

Lethbridge is the latest guest on the podcast series Fear at the Top hosted by the CEO of The Brag Media, Luke Girgis. The busy publisher (the company has just launched Rolling Stone Australia magazine) speaks to the music industry manager in a 50-minute chat you can listen to or watch on YouTube.

Listen to Fear at the Top here.

Podshape signs prolific podcaster Glenn Azar

Podshape, the new podcasting company launched in April by former Nova head of podcasting Jay Walkerden, has joined forces with Glenn Azar who currently hosts three podcasts, The Building Better Humans Project, Bro Chat and Kokoda Track. Azar is a former soldier and evacuation medic, who began podcasting over five years ago and now has over 500 episodes across his three titles. Azar is a human performance and mindset coach who has worked with numerous business leaders over the past 18 years in both fitness and mindset. He also owns an adventure company leading people on adventures all around the world.

The first collaboration from the new partnership is the story of NRL footballer Jayden Nikorima. Across two episodes Nikorima tells the story of his rise through the ranks of the NRL and then how drugs, alcohol and thoughts of suicide brought it all undone. Jayden’s parents and his brother Kodi, who is currently playing NRL, share the emotional tale of Jayden’s fall from grace and his fight to play NRL again.

Listen to The Building Better Humans Project here.

Fremantle Australia launches into podcasting with Acast

Global production company Fremantle and Acast have announced a partnership to develop premium audio-on-demand content in Australia.

The announcement marks Fremantle’s launch into the world of podcasting by its Australian division, selecting Acast to distribute and monetise its audio content to a local and global audience. Fremantle has been operating in the podcasting space since November 2018, when it launched its scripted podcast label, Storyglass.

Chris Oliver-Taylor, Fremantle CEO, Asia-Pacific, said: “This is a natural progression for Fremantle’s Australian team to link with Acast to bring our innovative programming and production techniques to the world of podcasting, mirroring the success of our international divisions that have been hugely successful in this growing and exciting genre.”

Guy Scott-Wilson, Acast’s content director, said: “Our partnership with Fremantle reinforces Acast’s commitment to be the home of compelling independent podcast content in Australia. There are so many exciting and important Australian stories to be told – we’re delighted to be working with Fremantle to tell and share them with the world through the medium of podcasting.”

Fremantle’s partnership with Acast commences with the launch of a new true crime podcast, Chasing Charlie, now available. Further podcasts are planned to launch this year.

In Chasing Charlie, Melbourne private investigator Julia Robson retells a gripping eight-year manhunt in Victoria and across the globe. Narrated by Robson herself, the six-part docu-series, places the unwavering PI at the centre of a cat and mouse game with a sadistic conman. With episodes dropping weekly, listeners deep dive into Robson’s quest to avenge the dozens of women psychologically and financially thwarted by the elusive Charlie. Her hunt will lead her face to face with the manipulative conman.

Listen to Chasing Charlie here.

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