In today’s podcast news roundup, Vince Vaughn teams up with two former NFL pros to launch podcast production firm Audiorama; media startup Puck is launching podcasts with Spotify’s The Ringer and Audacy’s Cadence13; Spotify’s 2022 Sound Up accelerator program is geared toward family podcasters; and more.
Vince Vaughn (“Wedding Crashers,” “Brawl in Cellblock 99”), along with former Carolina Panthers players Greg Olsen and Ryan Kalil and venture fund Powerhouse Capital, this week launched Audiorama, a podcast network and production company centered on “transformative podcasts” that enlighten, entertain and inform. Mikey Fowler, formerly with Barstool Sports, is VP and GM of the newly founded venture. Joining in advisory roles are Peter Morris, who most recently served as CEO of PodcastOne, and Peter Raskin, founder of Rubicon Talent, a sports marketing and talent management firm. Audiorama’s flagship podcast, set for March 9 premiere, is “Youth Inc.,” hosted by Olsen, described as a journey into the changing world of youth sports in America.
Puck, the media startup focused on the intersection of Hollywood, Wall Street, Silicon Valley and D.C., launched its audio division through partnerships with Spotify’s the Ringer and Audacy’s Cadence13. The Ringer and Puck founding partner Matthew Belloni have set March 14 for the launch of “The Town,” building on Belloni’s entertainment industry newsletter “What I’m Hearing.” Also launching March 14 is “The Powers That Be Daily,” a daily podcast produced Cadence13 and hosted by Peter Hamby, longtime host of Snapchat’s hit series “Good Luck America,” which will be a 15-20 minute rundown of “the story behind the story” featuring Puck’s team of founding partners. Puck was co-founded by Jon Kelly, creator of The Hive; Joe Purzycki, a co-founder of Luminary; Max Tcheyan, who led growth strategy at The Athletic; and Liz Gough, a former McKinsey & Co. consultant and Condé Nast exec.
QCode announced scripted podcast horror series “The Burned Photo” will return for a second season, set to premiere March 14 everywhere podcasts are streaming. Created by Nicole Exposito, Season 2 of “The Burned Photo” will again star Charmaine Bingwa (“The Good Fight”) and Kat McNamara (“Shadowhunters”). The seven-episode series is written by Exposito, Jeremy Novick and Kwynn Perry, and directed by Novick and Perry. The Burned Photo is produced by QCode and Vertigo Entertainment. Based on the popular Reddit thread, “The Burned Photo” tells the story of Felicia and Kira, two women whose lives become intertwined when they discover they are being terrorized by the same generational curse that is destined to end each of their family lineages — and as the duo dig deeper, they discover the curse’s connection to a mysterious 18th century sorcerer.
McClatchy’s Miami Herald, in collaboration with Treefort Media, on March 9 debuted podcast series “Collapse: Disaster in Surfside,” exploring the collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Fla., in June 2021. The first episode of the 12-part series is now available, with new episodes releasing every Wednesday. Through first-person accounts, audio recordings and more, “Collapse” covers the tragedy — which killed 98 people — beginning with the first 911 call, placed moments after the collapse. The series also features interviews with engineering experts who share their perspectives on how the collapse happened, what could have been done to prevent it, how many other buildings could be at risk, and the warning signs that can point to structural instability.
Sony Music Entertainment’s podcast division announced the March 9 premiere of “BioHacked: Family Secrets,” a series that delves into the complexities of the fertility industry and chronicles how real people’s lives are transformed by evolving technology. Hosted by journalist T.J. Raphael, Season 1 follows the children of anonymous sperm and egg donors as they uncover the identities of their donors and gather vital medical information. The first two episodes are available now. The series is produced by T.J. Raphael, Nick Mott, Shane McKeon, Jennifer Sigl and Khrista Rypl; edited by Maureen McMurray. Subscribers to “BioHacked Plus” on Apple Podcasts will have access to ad-free episodes and the exclusive bonus series “DNA Reveal,” which explores other stories of identity and DNA through someone’s real story of how commercial DNA kits impacted their lives.
Discovery Plus set a March 11 premiere date for “A Ghost Ruined My Life With Eli Roth,” a podcast version of the eight-part TV series of the same name available on the streaming service. In the podcast, horror director Roth provides additional commentary about the shocking stories of hauntings that have left emotional (and sometimes physical) scars on those unlucky enough to have experienced them. It will be available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other podcast platforms.
Spotify announced the latest edition of the Sound Up accelerator program, continuing to support the voices of underrepresented podcasters, with the 2022 program focused on the family podcast space. Over the course of five months, up to 10 selected aspiring podcasters will receive support and guidance through in-person training and virtual workshops, and supplied with all technology and tools needed to succeed. Participants will learn about the art and strategy of podcast creation and the ins and outs of development, while focusing on what it takes to make high-quality content for families with support from experts in child development, education, and content safety. Applications for Sound Up US: Kids & Family 2022 are being accepted through April 8 at this link.
UTA announced the creation of UTA Audio IQ, a data analytics service to support audio talent and content. The service is a joint effort of UTA’s Audio division, which represents creators and platforms in podcasting, and UTA IQ, the agency’s research, analytics, and digital strategy arm. The firm said UTA Audio IQ was inspired “in large part by the increasing opportunity that creators have to benefit from the desire of audiences seeking to engage with their favorite audio content in many formats, from digital content to television and documentaries, books, merch and live tours.” Audio IQ is designed to help “surface insights that point clients to opportunities across the full array of these consumer touchpoints,” per UTA.
The Audio Publishers Association (APA) on March 4 announced the winners of the 2022 Audie Awards, recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment across 25 competitive categories. “Project Hail Mary” written by Andy Weir, narrated by Ray Porter and published by Audible Studios, received the top honor, Audiobook of the Year. “Be Dazzled,” written by Ryan La Sala, narrated by Pete Cross, and published by Dreamscape Media, won the Young Adult Audie Award. The full list of winners is available at this link.