Brooklyn is absorbing a new grassroots movement revolution: the indie podcast community.
In the past several years, tech companies, major and talent, let this other geography burgeon and quadrupled their size in employment, office space, and listenership. If you want to get a flavor of it, just land in the borough and start your street peregrination with a coffee and Jasmine Hammond, VP Community at Pod People, in charge of a vast glocal network of creative audio (2500+) makers. She can tell you the story about it because she lives and works there.
Nothing better, she said, than the normal shopping at places like Sam Ash or Guitar Center in Flatbush to get headphones, voice recorders, and things like that. On Sackett Street, between Parkslope and the baby trollers, Littlefield, a red brick independent live venue for music junkies, gathered for a special live podcast taping night with a knowledgeable audience, anything can happen… Few stations and walks, The Bell House, a stage awaits the interactions with live hilarious podcasters and guests. And if you feel like taking courses, BRIC Media Center on Fulton Street, offers a variety of free and wallet-friendly, high-quality podcasting courses and more, serving 6,000 adult students annually. Even the mecca companies, like Spotify acquired Gimlet for $230M in the borough the podcast studio. Brooklyn is braising and making podcasters homes.
“The people in Brooklyn tend to have this feel of individuality. That’s very special. And it gears people towards the arts. It is truly like a hub of innovation in a way, a hub of ‘the weird,’ a feel of experimentation. A lot of podcasters try new things. They have space for it. We can really make individualized, centralized experiences for different groups of people, because so many different people live there. Also, the neighborhoods are more family oriented overall, which is nice.”
Jasmine confirmed that the communities are the essence of the podcasting industry in BK. It’s kind of a new self-sufficient shared economy and audience promotion inside it. It means that the podcasts are diffused through these groups and minorities. “Communities exist when you give space to people. It’s what we are doing at Pod People, we’ve built a social platform with resources for our 2500 audio creators from all over the world to interact and open the door to anyone. They can share their tools, their Patreon usage, their knowledge, their contacts or how to make a video for their last episode for example.”
“The people in Brooklyn tend to have this feel of individuality. That’s very special. And it gears people towards the arts. It is truly like a hub of innovation in a way, a hub of ‘the weird,’ a feel of experimentation. A lot of podcasters try new things. They have space for it.”
Data derived from Edison Podcast Metrics survey explain that the listener profile is nearly representative of the U.S. population, those involved with the creation of podcasts are overwhelmingly male. “We are 49% female identifying in our community which is huge. We think it’s a response to our company being led by a woman. We have an internal mission of our diversity efforts. So, we are currently trying to make sure for all of our matchmaking gigs that we put up 50% of people that are from marginalized backgrounds including ethnicity and gender,” added the head of the Pod People community.
When a delegation of French podcasters and French media partners came to Brooklyn in May, in Greenpoint through the program Sounds of New York, Jasmine observed another way of doing podcasts. “Here we get the content and the branding out very quickly, I’ve encountered in France, it’s a little bit slower, a little bit more thought out. I feel like in America, we do have this mega decentralized world of podcasting and its own huge revenue. And I think in France it is still developing in that capacity, but that’s provided space for more creative work, which I really respect. I do think there’s beauty to slowing down. In terms of content, in the US we are really into audio storytelling and sonic experiences.”
“Metaverse is becoming such a large piece of people’s entertainment right now, that’s kind of the necessary next step. I think video has to be a next step portion of it. We need to be able to provide visual assets to whatever we’re creating for people of all kinds to interact.”
Jasmine thinks that podcasting is going to end up in the virtual space, and it’s going to be a mix of that live audience and recording space with a VR headset. This is her vision for the future of Podcasting.
“Metaverse is becoming such a large piece of people’s entertainment right now, that’s kind of the necessary next step. I think video has to be a next step portion of it. We need to be able to provide visual assets to whatever we’re creating for people of all kinds to interact. Cinema style locations for sound would be the ultimate way to go. I think there’s something about the comfort of a movie theater. Even small things like being in a dark room with a bunch of people and you’re lying on the floor and just listening to something together like that. That combined the community experience of taking in something at the same time and experiencing it the same way is really special. And I think that’s the reason why live podcast recording has such a large turnout.”
Asked to say something about French podcast community, she replies: “They‘re all talented, I’m excited for them because they bring details, they bring passion and amazing storytelling and we need it absolutely.