StartUp Podcast: #17 Words About Words From Our Sponsors
November 21, 2015 2:17 PM - Subscribe

Gimlet is starting a new line of business, and it's a complicated one: Branded content. As we see in this episode, there are some very real anxieties about how to do this right.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle (13 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't want sponsored podcasts appearing in my feed. I'd be fine with promotions for sponsored podcasts appearing within the podcasts I subscribe to.
posted by bq at 2:31 PM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

(Place the catchy ad-indicator music under the whole half hour. Problem solved!)
posted by nobody at 2:51 PM on November 21, 2015

I found it baffling that the Gimlet team didn't know from the start that companies didn't want them solely for their ability to create a high quality white label pod, but for their name recognition and built in audience.

I also can't believe how many times they all insert 'like' into their sentences. It's excruciating.
posted by schoolgirl report at 3:40 PM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yes, that seemed bizarrely naïve to me too: they use the example of NYT branded content right at the top, but the entire point of that is that the branded content appears in the newspaper.

I suspect also that the"six-figure" production quote was at least 10x what Zillow was willing to pay.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:28 PM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

But the unspoken truth here is that they find that revolting.
posted by bq at 8:05 AM on November 22, 2015

As a listener, I appreciate that Gimlet wants to maintain journalistic integrity. But I agree that they are being a bit naive to think that companies are not going to want the podcast version of what HuffPo, NYT, etc. does.

I thought the discussion between Alex and Matt was interesting, where he said that they become caricatures of themselves - that rings true for me in a lot of heated conversations/arguments I've had.
posted by radioamy at 9:53 AM on November 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

I found it baffling that the Gimlet team didn't know from the start that companies didn't want them solely for their ability to create a high quality white label pod

I have to think they're using it as a narrative device, because they all seem way too experienced not to know otherwise.
posted by psoas at 5:02 PM on November 23, 2015

I really like Nazanin's idea.

I can see why companies would want to piggy back on Gimlet's brand, but as a listener I feel a gimlet podcast "brought to you by Zillo" seems too overtly propagandistic.

However if Zillo had their own podcast, gimlet quality but really *owning* their own brand, I would respect that more and probably judge it on it's own merit. (I also feel like okcupid could do a kickass podcast based on their salacious data)
posted by selenized at 10:25 AM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

All this fuss about extremely fine gradations in perceived advertising influence might cause one to ask whether there isn't some alternative model for producing audio journalism just waiting to be exploited. Perhaps something with a non-profit charter, supported by listeners and public funds.
posted by eotvos at 9:34 AM on November 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

that sounds great, eotvos! But what happens if the public funds are not kept up to the same levels, and listeners alone can't pick up the slack? Perhaps corporations would be willing to underwrite the journalism?
posted by garlic at 12:32 PM on November 30, 2015

Another possible problem with that listener funded model is that they might keep trotting out the same dinosaur shows, in one case even after the one of the hosts is dead, instead of exploring new programming at a time when technology has led to a revitalization of the medium and new forms proliferate.
posted by chrchr at 12:36 PM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

Speaking of branded podcasts, GE & Slate's The Message is #1 on the iTunes charts. Neiman Labs article on how this partnership works, mentioning this StartUp ep.
posted by radioamy at 2:24 PM on November 30, 2015

I can see where they were coming from. Bringing NPR style story-telling to podcasts is their (successful) business. So bringing NPR style story-stelling to other people's podcasts is an obvious direction and probably worth more than some random Joe making a podcast. Not half a million more, but still.
posted by smackfu at 5:08 PM on December 4, 2015

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