Podcast Week: New Sarah Grynberg series and book, SpokenLayer arrives

• Rachel Corbett’s insights, What’s next for Adam Lang and Russell Tate

Podcast insights from Rachel Corbett

Earlier this week Nova Entertainment revealed it had appointed Rachel Corbett as new head of podcasts and digital entertainment.

See also:
After split with Acast, Nova Entertainment signs new podcast A team

In addition to what Corbett told Mediaweek about her new role on Tuesday, we also asked her about what will happen to her PodSchool training business.

Corbett said she has spent many hours working on PodSchool since its 2016 launch and she’s not about to let it die. One of the reasons she left Mamamia was to devote some more time to PodSchool. “It’s such an important thing for me. I am looking to hire some people to help with PodSchool while I look after Nova,” she told Mediaweek.

“With PodSchool it’s always a cool feeling when I hear from someone that they have actually launched a podcast.”

Corbett has also been consulting, and hosting, a Google podcast series called Rethink. Now three episodes in since its July launch, Corbett will wind up the series before she starts with Nova. Guests on the series so far have included Ashley Chang, head of culture and trends at YouTube, APAC, Simon Joyce, CEO and founder at Emotive, and YouTube creator Marion Grasby.

Listen to Rethink here.

While Corbett has co-hosted a range of different podcasts during her audio journey, her deal with Nova Entertainment doesn’t call for her to be part of the talent. “I would never say I will not host another show in case the right opportunity presents itself. If we created a show and it made sense for me to host it then the opportunity is there. It will be more likely though I will be behind the scenes getting other people to host shows.

Corbett doesn’t have a weekly schedule of podcasts she listens to. “I have a very eclectic mix of shows that I love,” she explained to Mediaweek. “I am always listening to new and different things. I don’t have one genre I am obsessed with as I move from one to another. I also like things that don’t fit in a particular genre. I am just a sucker for a good idea. I’ll listen to anything,” she admitted.

When asked about tips for squeezing in as many podcasts as possible each week, Corbett said: “Podcasting has become such a big thing in part because it is all about the multitask. I always listen when I am walking, when I go to the shops, when I drive in the car. Whenever there is a moment that could be filled with some noise, I do podcasts. There is also nothing wrong with consuming the content in bits and finishing it whenever you can. They are my secrets. I listen to a lot of shows and I feel like I don’t have a lot of time.

Sarah Grynberg: New book, series and meets ‘Everything is F*cked’ author

Prolific PodcastOne host Sarah Grynberg thought she would be wrapping up season four of her Life of Greatness series about now. However the recent episodes have generated her most downloads ever. With the help of some extra guests, including a new recording this week with author Mark Manson, she is extending the season.

But that’s not her only news – she has a spin-off series of short episodes launching on PodcastOne where she shares learnings across four seasons of interviews. And – major publisher alert if you are reading this – Grynberg has also published an e-book called Finding Greatness: Your Life Guide.

“Mark Manson has an amazing way of seeing the world and it was awesome speaking with him,” Grynberg told Mediaweek. “He was very frank about his upbringing, talking about his childhood in Texas and his parents. Hearing his life story gives us a better understanding of who Mark is. He talked about how he thought at the age of 32 he had achieved everything he wanted to in life and that led him to be really depressed.”

Grynberg told Mediaweek how critical it is for her to be fully prepared for every interview. No surprise that many of her guests stress she is one of the best interviews they have ever done, after a talk full of insightful questions. (Something Manson comments on during his interview too.) “I will never interview anybody where I don’t know their work. I have also learnt much from my years as a radio and podcast producer listening to other people do interviews.

The Life of Greatness season started with Hughesy and the diverse guest list has also included Rabbi Laibl Wolf and now Manson.

Three weeks ago Grynberg released Finding Greatness as an e-book. “The idea is to allow people to achieve their own greatness via very easy tips and advice I have learnt during my own journey.”

Sounds like something that deserves a major publisher to jump on board to share to a bigger audience. Also coinciding with the book is a new series of short-form podcasts from Grynberg called Unlock the Greatness Within. “Every Friday we will publish five-minute episodes with me talking about self-improvement and wellness topics. Subjects include choosing love over fear, kindness and I also share my daily routine and habits you can adopt to lead a great life.”

Listen to a Life of Greatness here.

Media trio spread Fear and Greed

Fear and Greed is an imaginatively titled daily business podcast that aims to set the listener up for a successful day and is building a following after its launch in May this year. Every weekday morning, business news is summarised in less than 20 minutes from economist and former Fairfax Media executive and editor Sean Aylmer. After editing The Sydney Morning Herald in 2012, Aylmer moved on to be Fairfax editorial director across its metro dailies for over four years.

The new podcast promises to deliver its business content in less than 20 minutes and new episodes are published before 6.30am daily and there is a special weekend episode too.

In addition to host Aylmer, the podcast is produced by former head of content for Macquarie Media Michael Thompson. Head of operations for the podcast business is former Macquarie Media CEO Adam Lang.

The podcast industry in Australia is ripe with talented former Macquarie Media executives. One of the pioneers in the space here is former Macquarie Media chief Rob Loewenthal who founded Whooshkaa.

See also our separate item this week on changes at Talent Corp too.

Tomorrow in Mediaweek: Adam Lang on his new audio adventure.

 Listen to Fear and Greed here.

SpokenLayer partners with SCA for Australian audio network

SpokenLayer country manager ANZ Michael Richardson

SpokenLayer has announced its expansion into Australia with the launch of SpokenLayer Australia in partnership with SCA.

SpokenLayer is the leading US provider of short form audio content for voice assistants, smart speakers and podcast platforms. The company specialises in the creation, distribution and monetisation of short form audio content in partnership with publishers and brands.

The end-to-end solution turns text into human voiced audio which is then distributed to Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and a number of other platforms.

SCA CEO Grant Blackley said: “We’re excited to partner with SpokenLayer as it enters the Australian market and SCA has a depth of professional voices across Australia. Audio is an incredibly innovative medium, and with smart speaker ownership growing and Australians spending more time at home, we’re seeing demand for text to voice grow dramatically. We see these text-to-voice briefings as complementary to our existing assets in podcasting and radio streaming giving advertisers access to a highly engaged and growing digital audience.”

SpokenLayer recently launched daily news briefings for five publications as part of a new partnership with Australian Community Media (ACM). Led by The Canberra Times, the ACM partnership will also see SpokenLayer producing and distributing daily briefings for The Ballart Courier, The Launceston Examiner, The Border Mail and The Illawarra Mercury.

SpokenLayer already partners with leading US publishers such as Hearst, Time and Condé Nast, producing content for more than 200 titles including Techcrunch, Time’s The Brief, The Economist and The Los Angeles Times. The ACM titles will add to its growing Australian roster which includes a daily gaming news update from leading gaming publisher Press Start and the Coronavirus Australia Daily Update.

SpokenLayer country manager ANZ Michael Richardson (pictured) said: “There’s a real appetite from our smart speaker partners for human voiced short from audio content. With consumption exploding in recent months now is the right time for companies to build their audience in audio. Our partnership with SCA will help drive this growth.”

Russell Tate now chairing Talent Corp

Podcast Week wrote about the new Steve Price podcast On the Record late last month. The series is one of the offerings from the new audio business Talent Corp launched by former 2GB sales boss Mark Noakes in partnership with former 2GB colleagues Ruth Thompson, Ross Greenwood and Mike O’Regan. Greenwood also hosts a Talent Corp podcast The Money Minutes and the series is being hosted on the Whooshkaa platform.

See also:
Steve Price On the Record

Since we published that story we have an update on the team running Talent Corp. Noakes and his colleagues have found room for one more Macquarie Media colleague. Former Macquarie Media executive chairman Russell Tate (pictured) has come on board as chairman of Talent Corp.

Radio host tells of his battle with testicular cancer

The second season of Podshape’s This is Me podcast features former radio announcer Craig Evans (pictured with his family) talking about the horror of being told he had testicular cancer.

Evans co-hosted the Craig & Mandy breakfast show on the NSW Central Coast for over three years back in 2012. He also worked as a weekend announcer more recently for a number of years at Nova 100 in Melbourne.

Evans is working as a paralegal and is studying to be a lawyer. Just five weeks ago he learnt about his medical diagnosis that saw doctors tell him they would have to remove one of his testicles to save his life.

“I was doing burpees at the gym when I noticed one of my plums was bigger than it should be, I thought it was weird but I didn’t worry about it,” said Evans. “I told my girlfriend and she said go and get it checked out. Within days I was booked in to have it removed.”

Evans is a new father and this news shocked him, but at the same time he is positive that it was caught in time. In the first episode of the new season of This is Me, Evans gives a first-hand account of his life changing moment.

Podshape founder, and former Nova colleague of Evans, Jay Walkerden said: “I’ve known Craig for a number of years and he was always a positive and funny bloke with the world at his feet. When we heard of his story we wanted to make sure we could help share it and encourage other young blokes to give themselves a check.”

Listen to This is Me here.

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