Podcasts to Incorporate Breaking News

Posted by Angela Ufheil

After the “Serial” podcast took the world by storm, it is safe to say that podcasts are finding new popularity. Advertisers are even showing interest in getting into the podcast game (to discover why, check out this Advertising Age article). But along with annoying commercials, listeners may also be exposed to interruptions that are far more important – the news.


Photo by Colleen AF Venable via Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

PodcastOne creator Norm Pattiz is teaming up with the Associated Press to insert the latest newscasts into the more than 200 podcasts he archives on his website. But how could this possibly work, when podcasts are downloaded to be listened to later?

The answer is through dynamic ad insertion. “With dynamic insertion, you can insert the ad regardless of when a podcast is downloaded. So I thought, ‘why couldn’t we do the same thing to provide the most up-to- date newscast for consumers?’” Pattiz said in a recent article in Digital Content Next, which can be read here.


Driving Podcast List: Picture by Doug via Creative Commons

I think this is an incredibly cool idea, and a great opportunity to get people more in touch with journalistic work. But I have a few reservations, too. Advertisements are usually viewed as a pesky interruption to an exciting television show or riveting podcast. Is this how the news will be viewed as well?

Also, while I understand that attention spans are shrinking, is it really wise to stuff the news into a short, 60 second blurb at the end of a podcast? Will this decrease the quality of the news, simply because there may not be enough time to go more in depth with certain stories? A lack of thorough reporting could leave the public misinformed or confused – but maybe alerting people to breaking headlines will force them to seek information in other media as well. Definitely worth a shot.


3 responses to “Podcasts to Incorporate Breaking News

  1. On one hand, I think that interrupting someone’s show or podcast with a news blurb would be extremely annoying. If I’m listening to Marc Maron, the last thing I want to hear is a tampon commercial or ad for the nearest community college, let alone a complete diversion to a different story.

    On the other hand, I think that stuffing stories into 60 seconds is a smart thing. This is kind of like the equivalent to tweets – in the way that we have super small attention spans and we want to know what’s going on and we want to know right now. If a story interests us, we can look it up later. And if a story doesn’t spark our interest, at least we sort of know what’s going on in the world today without having to scour newspapers and online news sites.

    Overall, I’m anti-podcast-interruptions. Figure out somewhere else to put your news, please.

  2. I’m with Molly here. I would find interruptions of any kind annoying, even news, when I’m trying to catch up on the latest episode of Serial or whatever the podcast may be. I probably wouldn’t even really listen to what was being said, either; I’d just be grumbling that they interrupted the latest witness testimony clip. But I applaud the creativity behind the idea.

  3. Do you guys think it would be cool in other platforms? What if a YouTube video opened with a 30 second news story instead of an ad? And, could placement affect your reaction? A news story might be really cool at the end of a podcast.

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