At the RAIN Summit just prior to the NAB Radio Show last week in Nashville, Audible Sr. VP Eric Nuzum gave those attending session some blunt advice: Don’t call podcasts “podcasts.”
Nuzum said he thinks the term “podcasts” is pejorative and continues to place a heavy branding burden on the audio-on-demand industry. He told RAIN attendees:
“It’s not that we are embarrassed of podcasting but there are only 50%-55% of people who know what the word is, and only 20% listens to them.
There’s a pejorative effect of that word.
Everyone who [uses the term “podcast”] is tying themselves to one platform. [They] will be very sorry when that platform follows the growth trajectory of every other platform.”
Nuzum did not suggest a better term than “podcast.” He appeared at the RAIN Summit to promote Audible Channels new subscription service recently added by Amazon Prime. Folks who are not Amazon Prime members can pay for Audible Channels. Fees are $60 per year or $4.95 per month. You can see more about Audible Channels via Amazon Prime at [link].
Nuzum also discussed how the future of podcasting is being hampered by the lack of basic user data including demographic information. He said Audible will have more complete user data via its subscriber base.
WESLEY HORNER DONATES “GLIPR” FILES TO PUBLIC BROADCASTING ARCHIVES
Legendary noncom audio producer and arts advocate Wesley Horner announced on Wednesday that he has donated the original files documenting the history of the organization Gays & Lesbians in Public Radio (GLIPR) to the National Public Broadcasting Archives [link} at the University of Maryland. The collection will become part of Maryland’s Special Collections in Mass Media & Culture.
Horner was one of the founders of GLIPR in the 1980s. The informal group lasted until the late 1990s and typically met for social events at major public broadcasting conferences. The group had several dozen members.
When he announced that the National Public Broadcasting Archives had accepted the GLIPR archives, Horner said of GLIPR:
“To you kids out there, GLIPR was organized by some of us LGBT folks in public radio, to improve our lot as GLBT professionals. We sponsored amazingly well-attended events at public radio conferences that were popular with LGBT conferees and our straight-but-not-narrow colleagues.
We advocated for better GLBT coverage in public radio news, fairer workplace treatment (including, for example, health care benefits for spouses), and safe visibility in the workplace, especially in newsrooms. It helped.”
I got to know Wes Horner when he Executive Director of Smithsonian Productions. While I was at PRI I had the pleasure of working with Wes on projects such as Black Radio, Mississippi: River of Song and Memphis: Rock ‘n’ Soul.
Smithsonian “privatized” their media division in 2001. KCRW’s Sarah Spitz told the Los Angeles Times:
"This is a sad moment in public radio history. They produced exemplary documentaries that fulfilled a key function of public radio: to entertain while teaching you something new that you might not have known before. They created very rich tapestries of sound and very important documentaries."
Horner went on to play major roles in several public radio and PBS programs including From the Top and the PBS television special Piano Grand, starring Billy Joel, Dave Brubeck, Diana Krall, Robert Levin, Katia & Marielle LaBeque, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
He also is the author of the book Producer’s Guide to the Hereafter and the creator of the documentary film First Impressions: A Story About Growing Up, Falling in Love, and Meeting the In-Laws.
Wesley Horner is still active in public media today as a management consultant and content developer in Eastham, Massachusetts.