Podcast News roundup | Vox Media Acquires Criminal Productions & More!

Welcome back to the HeadStuff Podcast News Round-Up were we take a look at what’s happening in the world of podcasting and give you a recommendation or two along the way. This week we look at Vox Media’s acquisition of Criminal Productions, the rise in spoken word audio and the new podcast from iHeartRadio and the San Diego Wildlife Zoo Alliance, Amazing Life.

Podcast of the Week

Like many Irish students, I hated studying the Irish language while I was in school and after failing to become fluent after 12 years, I remember nothing but a cúpla focail. Now that I am older and access to Irish lessons are not as conveniently available as they were in my schooling days, my interest in the Irish language has finally decided to present itself. Better late than never, I suppose.

This brought me to the Bitesize Irish Podcast. A free show for anyone interested in learning about the Irish language, with new episodes being released every couple of weeks.

Bitesize Irish provides a number of additional materials, supports and courses for those interested in learning Irish. The podcast doesn’t just focus on the language, but also Irish culture, the learning process, how to use their supports, as well as providing words of encouragement from the Irish language learning community.

Vox Media Acquires Criminal Productions

This week, Vox Media announced the acquisition of Criminal Productions, founded by former public radio journalist Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer in 2013.

Criminal Productions has a series of successful podcasts in its repertoire, including the hugely successful Criminal, one of the biggest true crime podcasts. Other podcasts produced by them include This is Love and Phoebe Reads a Mystery.

Marty Moe, president of Vox Media Studios said: “Criminal broke new artistic ground when it launched, and Phoebe and Lauren have built it into an impressive business. As a longtime admirer of their work, I’m thrilled to see how we can take it to the next level as part of VMPN (Vox Media Podcast Network). While broadening the network’s scope into new genres.”

As a result of the acquisition, Criminal Productions’ staff will double, allowing Criminal  to expand into a weekly show and to facilitate the launch of brand new serialized shows. As part of the Vox Media Podcast Network, they will also look to move beyond podcasting in order to invest in live events, subscription products and intellectual property development.

Phoebe Judge said “After making these shows independently for the past seven years, we are delighted to join the talented journalist and podcast team at Vox Media. This new chapter gives us a perfect home to grow Criminal, launch new shows, and bring even more stories to our listeners.”

Speaking of which…

Criminal is coming to Dublin next year with a live show! If you are a fan of the podcast, you can catch the show at Vicar Street on April 18th, 2022. You can grab your tickets here.

Rise in Spoken Word Audio, According to NPR and Edison Research

A new report from NPR and Edison Research, the 2021 Spoken Word Audio Report, shows large growth in popularity of spoken word audio, particularly among young and multicultural audiences.

The 2021 report shows that 75% of the US population over the age of 13 listen to spoken word audio monthly, while 45% percent consume such content daily. This shows a growth of 40% in the past seven years of spoken word audio listening, a growth of 8% each year.

Within that growth, 22% of the audio consumed relates to podcasts, 10% is audiobooks, and 48% is radio, as shown below.

The report was presented in a webinar hosted by National Public Media (NPM) Vice president of Sponsorship Marketing Lamar Johnson and Edison Research Vice President Megan Lazovick and can be viewed here.

The study shows that 26% of audio listeners between 13-34 years old listen to spoken word audio, with an increase in multicultural listening, including an increase of 22% amongst black listeners and 27% amongst Hispanic and Latino listeners, and 29% amongst white listeners.

For the first time this year, Edison Research conducted extensive research on Black podcast listeners within the United States. The Black Podcast Listeners Report was presented by Gabriel Soto (director of Research at Edison Research), Nidia Serrano (Senior Director Sales Marketing Strategy at SXM Media), and Natasha Stockton (Director, Communications Planning at Mindshare) and can be viewed here.

The study showed that 36% of Black Americans over the age of 18 listened to podcasts monthly. The research investigated how Black Americans consume their podcasts, from podcast discovery, device usage and reasons for listening.

iHeartRadio and San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Launch New Podcast Amazing Wildlife

iHeartRadio, a well-known podcast publisher, and San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA), an international nonprofit conservation organization, have announced the launch of their new weekly podcast series Amazing Wildlife.

Amazing Wildlife will be hosted by SDZWA staff to highlight the unique wildlife stories, conservation efforts across San Diego Zoo, and to explore a whole host of creatures from around the world.  Episodes will be approximately 15 minutes long and will release every Friday.

The podcast is hosted by Rick Schwartz, an experienced wildlife care specialist and ambassador for SDZWA, and Ebone Monet, a senior editor at SDZWA.

The official trailer is available now on the iHeartRadio network and the first episode is available from today, November 19th.

“San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has been doing amazing conservation work for decades, and this podcast is the latest opportunity for us to share the impact this organization has had on conserving wildlife and wild spaces,” said David Miller, chief marketing officer, SDZWA. “The family friendly nature of the show is yet another way we’re working to inspire the next generation of conservationists.”


Find more podcast related content on the HeadStuff Podcast Section – News, Reviews, Interviews and How-To Guides for all you podcasters out there.