With support from:




This resource page features course content from the Knight Center for Journalism in the America's massive open online course (MOOC), titled " Listen up! How to launch and grow a hit podcast." The five-week course took place from August 20 to September 23, 2018. We are now making the content free and available to students who took the course and anyone else who is interested in learning the world of podcasts, from developing an idea, producing and editing it, and making sure it grows and sustains itself.


The course, which was supported by the Knight Foundation, was taught by Caitlin Thompson, Tobin Low, Rose Eveleth, Jacob Kramer-Duffield, and Jennifer Barish. They created and curated the content for the course, which includes video classes and tutorials, readings, exercises, and more.


The course materials are broken up into five modules:

  • Module 1: Offers an overview of the podcasting landscape.
  • Module 2: Covers how to shape an idea into a podcasting pitch. You will learn the basics of developing an idea, what questions you should be asking when pitching your podcast and how to start defining your production needs.
  • Module 3: Covers how podcasts are actually made. You will learn about recording tools and techniques; basic tape editing and processing, simple audio editing techniques, and how to get your final product out into the world.
  • Module 4: Offers an overview of podcasting analytics and audience engagement.
  • Module 5: Covers revenue models in podcasting and their implications for media companies and independent creators.

As you review this resource page, we encourage you to watch the videos, read the readings, and complete the exercises as time allows. The course materials build off each other, but the videos and readings also act as standalone resources that you can return to over time.


We hope you enjoy the materials and share them with others who are interested in learning more about podcasting. If you have any questions, please contact us at knightcenter@austin.utexas.edu.



About the Instructors



Caitlin Thompson is a journalist who specializes in print and audio, and is the co-founder of Racquet magazine. She's worked as a development executive at WNYC, as content director for podcast platform Acast, in digital and multimedia roles at TIME, The Washington Post and in public television. She thinks the future of podcasting sounds like women and people of color.


Tobin Low is the co-host and co-managing editor of Nancy. He also served as a producer on the first season of More Perfect. His work has appeared on Marketplace, Studio 360, and the Codebreaker podcast. Tobin is a graduate of the Transom Story Workshop, and was selected by the Association of Independents in Radio to be a New Voices Scholar in 2014.


Rose Eveleth is a producer, reporter, writer and host who explores how humans tangle with science and technology. She’s the creator and host of a podcast about the future called Flash Forward, a show about possible, and not so possible futures. She's covered everything from fake tumbleweed farms to million dollar baccarat heists to sexist prosthetics and more. She helped launch ESPN’s 30 for 30 Podcast, and has worked at The Atlantic, Smithsonian Magazine, Nautilus Magazine, TED and CBS. Her work has appeared in Racked, Scientific American, Eater, The New York Times, Fusion, VICE, Five Thirty Eight and more.


Jacob Kramer-Duffield, Ph.D. is a podcast analytics and audience consultant; a researcher, writer, and instructor. He received his doctorate from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, School of Information and Library Science in 2010, and began working in the podcast and digital media industry the following year. At New York Public Radio he was the first Manager of Digital Analytics and Research and established the digital analytics functions for WNYC, one of the industry leaders in podcasting. He subsequently led analytics at New York Magazine, and was Director of Data Science and Analytics at Panoply, one of the leading podcast networks. He has taught at Drexel University in the School of Computing and Informatics, and has consulted on analytics, audience, and strategy for NGOs, startups, and media organizations.


Jenny Barish has worked across sales, marketing, and business development for top podcast companies like Panoply, Acast, and Midroll Media. She was the first hire on Panoply’s sales team and worked with brands like GE, Amazon, and Netflix. Jenny also led branded content sales at Acast and currently works on content acquisition for Stitcher Premium, the market-leading podcast subscription platform. She started her career as a business fellow at The Atlantic where she learned the ropes of the digital media industry. Jenny hails from the Chicago suburbs and studied Strategic Communications at Ithaca College. Her favorite podcasts right now are Caliphate, Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, Why Won’t You Date Me with Nicole Bayer, and Ologies.






Podcast 101 with Caitlin Thompson

Caitlin Thompson is a journalist who specializes in print and audio, and is the co-founder of Racquet magazine. She's worked as a development executive at WNYC, as content director for podcast platform Acast, in digital and multimedia roles at TIME, The Washington Post and in public television. She thinks the future of podcasting sounds like women and people of color.


In this module you will get a landscape overview of podcasting.


This module will cover:

  • Where we’ve been
  • Where we are now
  • How it all works

Video Class

1. Podcast 101

Watch Video Transcript

2. The Humble History of the Podcast

Watch Video Transcript

3. The 2014 Breakthrough

Watch Video Transcript

4. Content Development

Watch Video Transcript



Readings








Show development with Tobin Low

Tobin Low is the co-host and co-managing editor of Nancy. He also served as a producer on the first season of More Perfect. His work has appeared on Marketplace, Studio 360, and the Codebreaker podcast. Tobin is a graduate of the Transom Story Workshop, and was selected by the Association of Independents in Radio to be a New Voices Scholar in 2014.


In this module you will learn how to shape an idea into a podcast pitch.


This module will cover:

  • The basics of developing a new show
  • The questions you should be able to answer when pitching a podcast
  • How to start defining your production needs

Video Class

1. The building blocks of podcasting

Watch Video Transcript

2. Pitching your podcast

Watch Video Transcript

3. Piloting your podcast

Watch Video Transcript


Readings






Production basics with Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a producer, reporter, writer and host who explores how humans tangle with science and technology. She’s the creator and host of a podcast about the future called Flash Forward, a show about possible, and not so possible futures. She's covered everything from fake tumbleweed farms to million dollar baccarat heists to sexist prosthetics and more. She helped launch ESPN’s 30 for 30 Podcast, and has worked at The Atlantic, Smithsonian Magazine, Nautilus Magazine, TED and CBS. Her work has appeared in Racked, Scientific American, Eater, The New York Times, Fusion, VICE, Five Thirty Eight and more.


In this module, you’ll learn learn about the myriad ways that podcasts are actually made.


This module will cover:

  • Recording tools and techniques
  • Basic tape editing and processing
  • Simple audio editing techniques (what to do with the audio you’ve recorded)
  • How to get your final product out into the world

  • Video Class

    1. Recording tools

    Watch Video Transcript

    2. Recording Techniques

    Watch Video Transcript

    3. Edit and launch your podcast

    Watch Video Transcript


    Readings


    Additional Resources

    Podcast analytics and audience engagement with Jacob Kramer-Duffield

    Jacob Kramer-Duffield, Ph.D. is a podcast analytics and audience consultant; a researcher, writer, and instructor. He received his doctorate from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, School of Information and Library Science in 2010, and began working in the podcast and digital media industry the following year. At New York Public Radio he was the first Manager of Digital Analytics and Research and established the digital analytics functions for WNYC, one of the industry leaders in podcasting. He subsequently led analytics at New York Magazine, and was Director of Data Science and Analytics at Panoply, one of the leading podcast networks. He has taught at Drexel University in the School of Computing and Informatics, and has consulted on analytics, audience, and strategy for NGOs, startups, and media organizations.


    In this module you will learn about just what we mean when we say “analytics” in podcasting.


    This module will cover:

  • The history and structure of measurement and standards
  • Some of the baseline numbers that the industry revolves around
  • Where things are headed

  • Video Class

    1. Podcast Analytics 101: A Brief History and Introduction

    Watch Video Transcript


    Readings





    Sales and commercial viability with Jennifer Barish

    Jenny Barish has worked across sales, marketing, and business development for top podcast companies like Panoply, Acast, and Midroll Media. She was the first hire on Panoply’s sales team and worked with brands like GE, Amazon, and Netflix. Jenny also led branded content sales at Acast and currently works on content acquisition for Stitcher Premium, the market-leading podcast subscription platform. She started her career as a business fellow at The Atlantic where she learned the ropes of the digital media industry. Jenny hails from the Chicago suburbs and studied Strategic Communications at Ithaca College. Her favorite podcasts right now are Caliphate, Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, Why Won’t You Date Me with Nicole Bayer, and Ologies.


    In this module you will learn about different revenue models in podcasting and its implications for media companies and independent creators.


    This module will cover:

  • The wild world of podcast ads (past, present, and future)
  • Crowdfunding and premium subscription models
  • Revenue expectations vs. reality

  • Video Class

    1. The Wild World of Podcast Ads: Past, Present & Future

    Watch Video Transcript

    2. Crowdfunding and Premium Subscription Models

    Watch Video Transcript

    3. Revenue Expectations vs. Reality

    Watch Video Transcript


    Readings


    Additional Resources