Jay Walkerden reveals podcasting milestone for Andrew Denton

Publisher & Editor

With Spotify and Apple upping their audio game, the local podcasting space is now “moving at a rate of knots” according to NOVA Entertainment‘s head of podcasting, Jay Walkerden.

And while the true crime genre is responsible for stoking much of the audio bubble, Andrew Denton’s latest foray into the medium has just  made Apple’s mid-year ’10 Best So Far’ list – appearing next to podcasts on politics, predators and pregnancy.

Interview with Andrew Denton pulls audiences behind the curtain of his Seven Network television show, adding exclusive commentary and context to each episode.

It’s already proved a big hit with listeners. Walkerden tells Radio Today that the series has just hit one million downloads following last week’s interview with global pop superstar Madonna.

“It isn’t just a rip and read from the TV show, there’s added content from Andrew, which gives further context to the chats that he’s having,” Walkerden tells Radio Today.

“You’re really drawn into Andrew’s mind about how he felt when she walked into the room for the first time, some of the rules and what she was wearing before she walked in. I think that’s been the most interesting thing with this podcast.”

Denton inked a deal with NOVA Entertainment’s podcasting division Acast back in April.

“Andrew is the best interviewer in Australia by far,” says Walkerden, pointing to the extended shelf life that the series is expected to enjoy in audio form. “I guess if you’re watching a telly programme, you either watch it live or on catch-up – they’re the two measures – whereas podcasts are evergreen and living forever.”

Episode one featured a candid conversation with Australian rock royalty Daniel Johns of Silverchair fame, immediately entering the top spot on the Apple Podcasts chart. Denton has since released 20 more episodes with always-intriguing guests; from Casey Donovan and Troye Sivan to Rebecca Gibney and Guy Pearce.

Along with Denton’s pulling power, those household names are good for business.

Interview with Andrew Denton is drawing new listeners to the major distribution platforms and convincing once sceptical brands take the format seriously.

“We’ve got two great clients on board with Belong and Dairy Australia, who are obviously quality brands,” says Walkerden. “And so, we are finding more and more of those premium brands are interested in being in podcasting.”

Spotify is a relatively new player in the world of podcasting but has wasted no time in flexing its audio muscles in pursuit of becoming a dominant and competitive opponent to Apple.

While radio is chasing podcasting, Spotify is biting at the heels of radio. The Swedish-born streaming giant also acquired technology platform Anchor and podcast network Gimlet earlier this year for a reported $340 million (USD).

It has since purchased true crime podcast studio Parcast.

“Having someone like Spotify play in the area is just another way for people to discover the medium,” Walkerden explains. “I think that’s a positive thing for podcasting.

Acast announced a partnership with Spotify last October to distribute its content worldwide on the streaming platform. “Equally, all our podcasts for Acast and Nova are on Spotify, so we’re able to work with brands to monetize the content via that platform.

“And to factor in the content game and building out, working with people like Gimlet and Barack Obama’s company, they’re quality podcast producers and so that can only be a good thing for the industry.”

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