Talking Podcasts with Jay Walkerden

There are plenty of buzz phrases being used to describe podcasting today, as it goes from strength-to-strength with new stories found and told.

Bad Producer’s Jay Mueller calls it the ‘wild, wild west’, while SCA’s Grant Tothill refers to it as ‘niche-casting’.

NOVA Entertainment’s head of podcast, Jay Walkerden, likes to describe it as ‘activity agnostic’, where the listener can be doing just about anything as they consume it.

But what is the future of podcasting? Are we just scratching the surface or is there an ‘amuse-by-date’?

“I think you want to look at areas and categories. True Crime has been such a big genre for podcasting and the story telling has been powerful, but there has to come a time where that will dissipate.

“Comedy is a big area for podcasting. I guess the question is, will comedy ever die? Probably not. Will entertainment-on-demand ever die? No.

“So, it’s about growing a lifestyle area that we think is going to work.”

While NOVA Entertainment will commission podcasts or create branded content for a client, Walkerden says they’re also keen on finding new territory to explore.

“We work really closely with brands. We’ve had a couple of successes with branded-content. And depending on where we’re at and what we’re doing, we talk to influencers and look at where there’s possibly a podcast audience.

“We’ve got a couple of big plans this year to work with people, who aren’t necessarily in the space right now, but have a willingness and an aptitude for being involved in podcasting.

“For us, it was all about creating or investing in compelling content.  That probably describes what we do.”

Interestingly, Netflix has also been a source of inspiration for Walkerden as he and his team look for new ways to tell a story.

“What I’m listening for is something from a podcasting perspective that is different. I’m watching the Netflix show called Evil Genius and I’m watching it for the dynamics.

“I’m looking for production ideas to make things different, fresh and exciting as opposed to production sounding the same.”

Next week, Radio Today talks to Tony Martin’s Childproof and Sizzletown collaborator Matt Dower, who finishes up with NOVA Entertainment this week to concentrate on his own projects.

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