A Northwestern University joint initiative of Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science. Northwestern University joint initiative of Medill & McCormick School of Engineering.
Blog: November 2014

In our ears… November edition

Around the Lab, some of us are long-time podcast junkies and some of us were about eight years old when podcasts came on the scene. We’ve been publishing our research into web audio from our primer on its history to why it feels stagnated. However, we haven’t published much about podcasts or podcasting (because everyone else is writing about it, including listicles from just about everyone from The Atlantic to The Huffington Post) or about the the shows we love for on-demand listening. Therefore, we thought it might be fun to share the shows in our current rotations—we certainly have has some fun talking about them around the Lab—and possibly revisit this as a monthly feature. Let us know if you like it.

Jake Shapiro on PRX, developing Radiotopia and the future of web audio

When I first started researching web audio, I was surprised to find again and again that an organization I’d never heard of was leading the charge, pushing hard on the current state of sound on the internet, and helping the medium into the 21st century: Public Radio Exchange, more commonly referred to as PRX. PRX supports some of the biggest names in radio and podcasting. The nonprofit distributes a roster of popular shows, from well-known public radio staples like The Moth and Sound Opinions to hit podcasts like 99% Invisible and WTF with Marc Maron. Radiotopia, PRX’s …

Alex Blumberg on StartUp podcast, Gimlet Media and the future of podcasting

Alex Blumberg is a man who needs little introduction… At least within the podcasting and radio public media circles. He produced for This American Life for years and co-founded the award-winning Planet Money. Now Alex is tearing up the iTunes podcasting charts as he tries to give listeners a look behind the curtain at the development of his podcasting business, Gimlet Media, with the StartUp podcast. Alex and Gimlet Media co-founder Matthew Lieber, an MIT MBA and former public radio veteran, are already getting good press for the advertising innovations they’re pulling off in StartUp, and enough investment interest to get the for-profit company fully-funded. Now the company is looking …

How to get rich in the podcasting gold rush: Steal these 6 ideas from Odeo

Before there was Twitter there was Odeo, the web-app that aimed to make podcasting accessible, discoverable and social. While it’s mostly remembered as the humbling misstep Ev Williams, Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone took along the path to building Twitter, it was filled with innovative audio ideas the net hadn’t seen before and still hasn’t seen since. So, before you go reinventing the Internet audio wheel, you might take a second to put

Leaps and sounds: 6 product categories creating the future of web audio

In our “Why web audio can’t grow up” article, we presented the case for moving away from “podcasts” as the de-facto definition of web audio, to create new audio platforms and new ways to experience interacting with audio on the web. Quick summary: Podcasts are difficult to share, tough to discover and not inherently suited to community building. They just feel old! Luckily we’re not the only ones who’ve noticed the problem, innovators