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5 Podcasts in 5 Days

5 Podcasts In 5 Days: Bill Simmons Podcast

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Welcome to a special feature this week on SportsRadioPD.com titled “5 Podcasts in 5 Days“. I’ve returned to my audio laboratory to put my ear on five different podcasts which sports fans all over the world have become increasingly interested in and listen to frequently on iTunes, Soundcloud, and additional apps and websites. Those five podcasts feature Bill Simmons, Clay Travis, Jonah Keri, Adrian Wojnarowski, and the Men In Blazers.

In reviewing each of these shows, I wanted to get a sense of what made them unique, how they sounded compared to sports radio programs, how involved the sponsors were, and what type of content experience they offered the audience. I also wanted to see how similar or different they were to one another. If any other unique items of importance stood out, they too will be included in my final analysis.

To start things off, I’m sharing my review of “The Bill Simmons Podcast”. Between Tuesday, and Friday, full reviews will be available for the remaining four shows. They will be featured in the following order: “Men In Blazers”, “Outkick The Show with Clay Travis”, “The Jonah Keri Podcast”, and “The Vertical Podcast with Woj”.

As a reminder, this report represents the opinion of one person – Jason Barrett. My goal in sharing it is to provide an honest, and objective view of what you can expect to hear based on what I uncovered while listening last week. Does that mean that every podcast created by these personalities are the same? No. But, it’s a reflection of their most recent work. What may or may not happen on other episodes is irrelevant.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s dive into the first review. I’ve included the episode for you to listen to and follow along with if you wish.

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  • TITLE: The Bill Simmons Podcast
  • DATE: June 9, 2016
  • LENGTH: 1 Hour 3 Minutes
  • CAST: Host = Bill Simmons. Contributors = Patrick Barker, Joel Solomon, and Brendan Lynch
  • SPONSORS: Seat Geek, Starr Station, Casper Mattress, Stamps.com, and Five Four Club – extra focus given to The Ringer and Bill’s upcoming HBO program “Any Given Wednesday”.
  • PRODUCTION: Good groove music is used to start and end the show. The same bed is used for all commercial reads. It’s a simple production built around the personalities involved. The audio mic quality is very good (except for when the show is talking to Brendan off-mic).

SHOW BREAKDOWN:

:00-1:30 = Bill starts the program by plugging the sponsors, his website, and upcoming HBO show.

1:30-3:45 = Introductions to Joel Solomon, Pat Barker, and Brendan Lynch who are contributing to today’s show. Bill tells the audience that Joe House won’t be dropping by since he’s playing golf today. The highlight of the intros is when Barker gives some raw meat to Philadelphia fans by acknowledging that he loves the Phillies, 76ers, and Flyers, but grew up around Eagles fans, and believes they are awful people who he hates collectively.

3:45-16:00 = Conversation about a multitude of angles involving Game 4 of the NBA Finals. The guys discuss the Warriors not being favored in Game 4, Steph Curry being out of sync through the first 3 games, whether or not Curry can take the physical toll of the NBA playoffs, and why the Cavs should be using enforcers to try and get Draymond Green off of his game.

Some highlights during this segment include Solomon pointing out that Curry could easily go for 40 in Game 4 (he scored 38) and make everyone forget about his previous issues. He also asked one key question and raised a fair follow up “what if Draymond gets a technical in the next game (he did, and has since been suspended for Game 5)? That could have a big impact on this series.” The one strong take that stood out the most was when Barker labeled Steph Curry as the Peyton Manning of the NBA Playoffs and explained the comparison.

16:00-17:15 = Live read for Five Four Club.

17:15-26:10 = The guys debate what to do with Kevin Love in Game 4, why the Cavs roster mix is bad, LeBron being a bad GM, how Simmons could be convinced that the Celtics trading for Love in the off-season could be a solid move, and why Jerry West was a genius for standing firm and pushing the Warriors to resist the temptation of trading Klay for Kevin Love.

26:10-27:25 = Live read for Casper Mattress.

27:25-37:00 = The third segment starts with a discussion around whether or not the guys would go to Brazil to play for Team USA in this year’s Olympics. Suggestions are made about who to send if the best players in the NBA don’t want to attend. The crew raise the possibilities of sending the 76ers, the Globetrotters, retired players, the D-League champs, 22 and unders, Russell Westbrook and 11 of his friends, and a team featuring the Lopez brothers.

The highlights in the segment are when Solomon brings up that Carmelo Anthony will play because it’s his destiny to build his legacy as the greatest Olympian of all-time, and become the Michael Phelps of USA basketball. The guys also talk about the possibility of JR Smith and Draymond Green mixing it up. Bill says the way to do it is find out one girl in Draymond’s past that is still a sore spot and keep bringing up her name. Barker adds “or just find his current girl and have sex with her before the game”.

37:00-45:00 = The final in-depth discussion revolves around Sam Hinkie’s tenure in Philadelphia. Barker is adamant that the 76ers gave him a raw deal. Bill and Joel disagree. Bill mentions Hinkie’s inconsistency in drafting good talent and uses Michael Carter-Williams as an example. He also acknowledges that he didn’t vote for MCW for the Rookie of the Year award, and it ticked off MWC’s agent.

Another quality part to this discussion centers around Barker’s plan to fix the 76ers. After pointing out that he’d trade Jahlil Okafor to the Lakers for D’Angelo Russell, Bill asks “do you really want one of the worst locker room guys of the past 5 years”? Barker says “He’s 19, and if he exposes a teammate’s infidelity twice on Snapchat then I’ll come back on the podcast and admit that you are a genius”. The segment ends with pointing out how the miss on Porzingis hurt Hinkie, and whether or not the crew could convince Knicks owner James Dolan to have his blues band JD and the Straight Shot become the house band for the show.

45:00-46:20 = Live read for Stamps.com.

46:20-47:05 = Rotating chairs so Brendan Lynch can join the conversation, followed by an introduction of his background.

47:05-51:05 = Bill points out that there’s always one nugget of Brendan’s life that skips out, and brings up a funny story of how Brendan got a friend of his to meet him to see the new OJ movie, but never told him that it was 8-hours long. Brendan admits his friend wasn’t happy. Additional conversation revolves around Brendan taking the OJ tour.

51:05-57:30 = Bill asks Brendan to give his three internet deep dives. This is a part of the podcast which is very entertaining. The first one Brendan lists is being highly interested in chiropractic adjustment videos on YouTube. He says he’s enamored with a chiropractor out of Colorado named Nelson Vetanze who adjusted Jake Plummer to which Simmons points out “Jake retired early.

For the second deep dive, Brendan talks about chiropractic strokes, and his fascination with Kevin Sorbo. He points out that Sorbo had a stroke in his expensive car on Wilshire Blvd. He labels him as one of America’s great storytellers, who is not a fan of neck adjustments.

The final deep dive has to do with the movie “eyes wide shut” which Brendan hated when he was young. Now after going on YouTube and finding people who have analyzed the movie, he can’t stop watching it. Solomon adds a great line “Bill if you learned anything today you need to get a podcast started with the Lopez Brothers, and you need to track down Kevin Sorbo for this show”.

57:30-58:10 = Bill talks about adding a new podcast for Channel 33 called the Writer’s Room.

58:10-61:30 = Bill asks Brendan to tell a story of when his wife’s purse got stolen. He says a guy on a skateboard bear hugged his wife while they were walking down the street after leaving a laundromat. She starts screaming, and Brendan who’s never been in a fight before, says the first words out of his mouth to the guy are “do you want to bang bro”? The phrase came from UFC’s ‘Ultimate Fighter’. The police got called, and the guy gets caught, and afterwards his wife says “do you want to bang bro? what was that?”

61:30-63:30 = Simmons plugs adding a new podcast, thanks the sponsors with additional reads, plugs The Ringer and his upcoming HBO show, thanks the in-studio guests, and signs off.

SHOW ANALYSIS:

The best parts of this podcast are the result of great chemistry between the group. Bill does an excellent job of positioning Pat, Joel, and Brendan as equals, and pulls a few good stories, opinions, and well timed one-liners out of each of them. You get the sense as you listen that these guys enjoy working together, and as a listener you feel like a fly on the wall inside the offices at The Ringer.

Simmons swears a number of times during the podcast which depending on your preference can be a good or bad thing. It’s a reality in most people’s lives, and makes the conversation more real, but for those who don’t like to hear foul language that might be a turnoff. I personally didn’t mind it at all because it’s how people have day to day discussions.

The one area that I did feel was missing is that there isn’t enough opinion out of Bill. Although he does a great job of getting the others to express their views, Bill is the star and too often it feels like he’s the point guard who’s trying to get everyone else involved but passing up his shot. Given his ability to move the needle with his opinions in print, and his prior experience striking a chord on television on ESPN, I’d like to hear him not only ask the crew to weigh in on subjects, but also take the reigns himself and deliver some memorable commentaries. It’s not a question of whether or not he has opinions to share, it’s a matter of not being aggressive enough due to playing the lead host role.

From a business standpoint, three live reads were done during the show, in addition to the inclusion in the open, and the close. The reads also run longer than sixty seconds, and Bill gets the crew involved during each of them. The segments do get brought to a screeching halt at times, and the setups could be a little better, but Bill treats each client as if he’s giving them a personal touch. They’re treated as partners, and the use of music underneath separates them from the content during the show.

If there’s one area that stood out about Bill’s contributors, it’s that they not only were comfortable being there with him, but their use of humor and hot takes made for an enjoyable listen. Pat enjoys being the antagonist, Joel is witty and well thought out, and Brendan tells some hysterical stories and delivers them in unique fashion.

During the span of sixty minutes, the guys dove into at least six different pieces of content. They provide enough substance, but also keep the pace moving, and don’t allow the topics to become fatiguing. It did take almost 4 minutes before they dove into the opening segment, and with listeners having the option to listen on-demand, they’ll likely fast forward in the future if that becomes a regular practice. I recognize that sponsor reads have to be executed, but an extra two minutes for introductions after sponsor reads was a little long.

CLOSING COMMENTS:

Bill and his crew are a fun listen. If you’re looking for hard hitting takes, inside information, or interviews with newsmakers, this won’t be your cup of tea. But, if you enjoy conversations that you’re likely to hear at the water-cooler, inside a sports bar, or at a house party among friends, then you’ll enjoy what the Bill Simmons Podcast provides.

The one thing I tried to keep in the back of my head as I listened was “how is this similar or different to sports radio”?

From the positive side, there are no rules on the language used. Long commercial breaks don’t exist which keeps the content experience strong (sponsors actually gained more live read time than they usually do over the radio airwaves), and the format is free flowing which allows the guys to enjoy themselves. It’s also a one-hour show instead of three to four, which helps keep an emphasis on making sure the best they have to offer is presented, rather than recycling a lot of the same topics or relying on audience phone calls to fill air time.

The negatives are that aside from hearing a few different voices engage in conversation, there isn’t a ton of creativity in the presentation. In radio, the music changes, production is added, audio clips are incorporated, guests are included, and the audience is invited to participate. There’s urgency over the airwaves, but less in this podcast. Broadcast companies could also ask “how can you make the same amount of money when you’re only implementing three live reads in the entire hour”?

Overall, I found the Bill Simmons Podcast to be entertaining, relaxing, conversational, and fun. It mixed sports, humor, pop culture, and sounded like a real daily conversation between friends that just so happened to be recorded. If you enjoy what Bill does, you’ll like this show. If he starts adding more of his opinion and personality to it, and some additional entertainment value to improve the presentation, you could grow to love it.

5 Podcasts in 5 Days

5 Podcasts in 5 Days: Real_Sports with Jack and Abe

“Jay Soderberg offers his thoughts on BluWire’s ‘Real Sports’ podcast.”

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Editor’s note from Jason Barrett:

We’ve reached the final day of our ‘5 Podcasts in 5 Days‘ series. A big thank you to our special guest reviewer Jay Soderberg who took the time to listen to five different shows and offer his candid, direct, and unapologetic thoughts on each program. Though some of the input can sting those hosting the shows, Jay’s focus throughout this project has been to lend a few thoughts to help those creating the content improve their presentation.

As podcasting continues to grow due to its limitless offerings of unique, creative, and original content, it still remains a space without structure and a clear understanding of what does and doesn’t work. Unlike radio which uses ratings measurement to justify the effectiveness of a particular show or host, the success or ineffectiveness of a podcast can often be disguised by how a program is ranked on the Apple podcasting charts.

To help make some sense of it all, we reached out to Jay, who’s served as the Head of Content for BlogTalk Radio, and a digital audio producer, imaging director, and podcast creator for the ESPN Radio network, to put his ear on five shows and let folks know what’s working and what needs some fine tuning. The five programs we chose were Mystery Crate by Dan Le Batard and Friends, The GM Shuffle with Adnan Virk and Michael Lombardi, The Most Valuable Podcast with Charlotte Wilder and Jess Smetana, Locked on Jazz with David Locke, and Real Sports from BlueWire’s Jack Settleman and Abe Granoff.

We hope you’ll find Jay’s reviews of these 5 programs to be informative, honest, and well explained. If you have further feedback you can find him on Twitter @TheRealPodVader or you can email by clicking here. Enjoy!

REAL_SPORTS WITH JACK AND ABE:

Title: NBA Draft Preview, Kyrie Irving Breaking News and the Mike Conley Trade

Date: June 20, 2019

Length: 46 minutes

Cast: Jack Settleman and Abe Granoff

Sponsors: none

Production: Produced Open, music bed at the end

Show Breakdown:

0:00 – Tease on what’s up

:21 – Open featuring a montage of sports highlights

:41 – Introducing your hosts

1:19 – Abe’s NBA draft profile from Jack (he was robbed of living the dream as a child) but Jack mentions he was as a slow 6 footer…player comp: Draymond Green or RJ Barrett…Time for Jack’s draft profile from Abe…player comp: Lonzo Ball or Jalen Brunson…

4:15 – Time to move on to thoughts on the NBA Draft…what hasn’t been said about Zion Williamson already?…Jack believe RJ Barrett is the best player in the draft…Ja Morant break down…

11:50 – Picking apart some other NBA Draft prospects: Cam Reddish (got a pick with him earlier in the day…Abe isn’t a numbers guy, he likes to make decisions on players from what he sees on the court); Brandon Clark (Jack’s favorite player, not the best, in this draft);

20:56 – Busts: Nassir Little (shot up the boards because of hype and his length but doesn’t have a college background); Jared Culver (his size and strength won’t help him in the NBA)

24:20 – Breaking down the point guards – there are other names besides Morant and Garland

28:30 – What will Boston do with their picks? They’re in the limbo area of knowing their true identity – push forward to win with their young core or tank for more young talent?…The East is going to get weaker and the Celtics need to get an established player…the guys are split on Danny Ainge…

31:57 – What they’re most excited about for the NBA Draft…wouldn’t it be fun if the Lakers/Pelicans trade didn’t go through?

34:50 – Brief bit of feedback

35:28 – Breaking news after the pod was recorded and this is being put in afterwards…The Nets are concerned with bringing in Kyrie Irving unless he can bring Durant with him…laughing at the “trolls” who sent Jack photoshopped Kyrie pics in a Nets uniform and Irving is heading to the Knicks…Abe tells him to stop…this lends more to Kyrie going back to the Celtics or back to LeBron…

38:23 – A little more feedback

38:40 – Breaking down the Mike Conley trade…the Jazz could make some noise in a down year in the West…Derrick Favors being swapped out for a superstar before the deadline???…

45:00 – hope you liked it…give us 5 stars…thanks for the listens…want to hear from you…RSPod on Instagram… this has been Real Underscore Sports

Show Analysis:

Before we start analyzing the show, a quick lesson on the Apple Podcast charts. First, they only measure activity on Apple Podcast products (iTunes, iPods, iPads, iPhones, etc). Second, the charts are some sort of algorithm measuring new subscription activity – not a real measurement of audience size. That’s why a show like Real Sports is in the top 20 shows, but doesn’t have an episode in the top 200 episodes.

The team at BlueWire has done something smart to drive engagement on Snapchat and Instagram, running a raffle contest to get people to write reviews and ratings for the podcast on Apple Podcasts. Rob Walch on Libsyn will tell you ratings do not matter when it comes to positioning on the Apple Podcasts charts, but it definitely looks good to see a podcast with 7 episodes and 4211 reviews (as of this writing). Most of those reviews are 5 star because as one of the 1 star ratings put it “He bribes people with giveaways on social media and makes them give 5 stars to be eligible.” 

So who is Jack Settleman? According to his LinkedIn profile, he’s a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin in 2018. He’s focused on social media marketing while at the school and is currently the Social Media Community Manager at The Action Network. He clearly knows how to work the social media marketing angle, but understanding how that game works is important to understanding the real chart position of this podcast. I couldn’t find much on Abe Granoff, but it’s clear from listening to the show, they are big fans of the NBA and college basketball.

Closing Comments:

A critical review of the show stated “These guys just basically read off scoresheets” and I’m inclined to agree. The scary secret to that comment though, is that’s exactly what most radio hosts are doing. The difference is, experienced radio hosts sound less stiff and more genuine with their takes. Jack and Abe can at times sound robotic in their delivery. The key to improving that will come from gaining more reps.

I thought this podcast was just like most other ones, lacking innovation. It was just two guys providing their takes on the news of the day. The next generation of sports talk hosts are going to come from podcasts, so I’m hopeful the younger generation of broadcasters will introduce new original ideas instead of following the pattern of what everyone else has been doing.

The disappointing part of the story is that these guys really know how to get their message out to the younger masses – as shown in their ability to generate 1 million followers on Snapchat. But if the younger generation thinks this is what great sounding podcasts should sound like though, I tremble for our future.

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5 Podcasts in 5 Days

5 Podcasts in 5 Days: Locked on Jazz

“Special guest reviewer Jay Soderberg reviews the Locked on Jazz podcast with David Locke.”

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Editor’s note from Jason Barrett:

5 Podcasts in 5 Days‘ continues with special guest reviewer Jay Soderberg spending day four to analyze the Locked on Jazz podcast by Utah Jazz voice David Locke. For those unfamiliar with Jay, he is the former the Head of Content for BlogTalk Radio, and a digital audio producer, imaging director, and podcast creator for the ESPN Radio network. He’s candid, direct, and unapologetic with his feedback, and focused on trying to help content creators produce exceptional material, even if it means having to get under their skin in the process.

As podcasting continues to grow due to its limitless offerings of unique, creative, and original content, it still remains a space without structure and a clear understanding of what does and doesn’t work. Unlike radio which uses ratings measurement to justify the effectiveness of a particular show or host, the success or ineffectiveness of a podcast can often be disguised by how a program is ranked on the Apple podcasting charts.

Since this space has turned into the audio version of the wild west, we thought it’d be beneficial to bring back 5 Podcasts in 5 Days and find out which audio shows are checking the right boxes, and which ones could use some fine tuning. The five podcasts we charged Jay with listening to and critiquing were Mystery Crate by Dan Le Batard and Friends, The GM Shuffle with Adnan Virk and Michael Lombardi, The Most Valuable Podcast with Charlotte Wilder and Jess Smetana, Locked on Jazz with David Locke, and Real Sports from BluWire’s Jack Settleman and Abe Granoff.

We hope you’ll find Jay’s reviews of these 5 programs to be informative, honest, and well explained. If you have further feedback you can find him on Twitter @TheRealPodVader or you can email by clicking here. Enjoy!

LOCKED ON JAZZ

Title: Kevin Pelton stops by to discuss the Lakers and the NBA Draft by the Numbers

Date: June 19, 2019

Length: 38 minutes

Cast: David Locke, guest: Kevin Pelton

Sponsors: Lenovo, Homie (local? BYU creators), The Store (local), Hotels.com, Shamrock Auto Group (local)

Production: minimal

Show Breakdown:

0:00 – Produced open for 10secs, 30sec pre-produced ad for Lenovo, David Locke teases what’s up on the show and then says he’s going on vacation for a bit

2:17 – Kevin Pelton interview begins…starting with 2 questions about the Anthony Davis trade…the two local Locked On hosts loved the deal but the national guys have been slamming it

8:55 – Reset – that was Kevin Pelton’s trade analysis, now getting into his Draft projections…he’s been really good at finding the 25-35 range, that’s the strength of his scenarios…highlighting some examples of guys that Pelton has projected guys in that range…how good has he been at projecting busts?

13:43 – Reset, again with a tease of what’s coming up…but today’s show is brought to you by Homie (host read ad) also brought to you by The Store at 60 and 200 South and 20th East

16:43 – Kevin, who’s top 10 in his numbers and who’s top 10 generally accepted?

23:47 – Distracted by computer noises…teasing what’s coming up but I can’t stand this throw to commercial “…that and more when we’re back on the Locked On Podcast Network.”

24:15 – Hotels.com (pre-produced), Shamrock Auto Group (host read), Locked On NBA Net on Draft night

26:50 – Why is there not a big difference between 19 and 22 year olds?

29:29 – Who’s Fred Van Fleet or Monte Morris this year? Not sure there’s anyone Kevin feels that strongly about this year but here are some guys Kevin likes more than others.

34:54 – Guys who will go in top 20 that Kevin’s numbers just don’t see it.

36:31 – Go follow Kevin @kpelton…going on vacation

37:00 – Promo for Locked on Cougars, reminder that your smart speaker can play your podcasts (but it’s cut off before Dave finishes the explanation)

Show Analysis:

When I was first introduced to podcasting at ESPN 15 years ago, I remember thinking the brilliance of it was that you no longer needed to have your peanut butter mixed with your chocolate. Meaning – I can have my football without having to listen to the baseball or the basketball or the hockey. David Locke has taken that one step further with his Locked On network, making podcasts for individual teams, mainly in the NBA and NFL. David is the voice of the Utah Jazz and has a professional radio background and it’s apparent listening to his show.

David has multiple resets with his guest (which for a podcast listener can become a little annoying), teasing upcoming content before commercial breaks and then extremely professional reads on those ad deliveries. David has worked on this network for quite some time and the mix between the pre-produced ads from Megaphone and the local ads (which I’m assuming David has acquired on his own) gives the podcast a strong local feel (literally naming the streets to find The Store).

While this does sound like a re-purposed local radio show, it’s hard to complain about that lack of innovation because the focus is on one local team. That said, David did have a national guest on to talk about the NBA Draft and never asked a specific question regarding the Utah Jazz. To be fair, David’s interview did center mostly on later round options in the draft (the Jazz had the 23rd pick and a couple of second round choices). And to really hit the minutiae, he never tells us Kevin Pelton is from ESPN.

There are a lot of assumptions being made and for a regular listener, that’s probably great. For a brand new listener though, they might feel lost. Every new piece of content is an opportunity for a new listener.

Speaking of formatics, I HATE hearing these phrases around commercial breaks on the radio and especially on a podcast – “we’ll be right back” “and we’re back” “we’re going to take a break” “the break is all done”. You and especially the podcast listener never left! A majority of podcast listeners don’t even hit the fast forward button available to them to skip the ads so why give them a warning flag that a commercial is coming up?

I’m a big proponent of the tease before a commercial break. Give the audience that cliff hanger. They can’t wait to hear Kevin’s deep draft gems. Just leave it at that. “In a moment, Kevin’s going to tell us his deep draft gems” – lay out. Commercials. “Kevin, what do your numbers say about the potential Superstars around pick number 23?”

Closing Comments:

As a frequent podcast listener, the difficulties David faces with a network like this is finding clones of himself. While David is a professional broadcaster, there are others in his network that could use some polishing. Having worked on the business side of the podcast industry, I know how difficult it can be to find a sales team that will focus on local businesses to feature in a local podcast. Many podcasters carry that load upon themselves while most podcast sales agents (like Megaphone or Midroll) will focus on a national type sponsor. For a podcaster with no previous media experience, you can see how difficult a task that would be to undertake.

That’s an advantage the Locked On Network has with David at the helm. He’s on to something good, delivering the type of niche content sports fans are looking for. The podcast is also offered daily during the NBA season, giving fans the chance to enjoy the content they want on their own schedule. If local stations aren’t careful, he’ll steal their audience and then their sponsors.

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5 Podcasts in 5 Days

5 Podcasts in 5 Days: Most Valuable Podcast

“Jay Soderberg offers his assessment of the Most Valuable Podcast”

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Editor’s note from Jason Barrett:

The third day of ‘5 Podcasts in 5 Days‘ with special guest reviewer Jay Soderberg has arrived. Jay is the former the Head of Content for BlogTalk Radio, and a digital audio producer, imaging director, and podcast creator for the ESPN Radio network. He’s candid, direct, and unapologetic with his feedback, and focused on trying to help content creators produce exceptional material, even if it means having to get under their skin in the process.

As podcasting has continued to grow due to its limitless offerings of unique, creative, and original content, it still remains a space without structure and a clear understanding of what does and doesn’t work. Unlike radio which uses ratings measurement to justify the effectiveness of a particular show or host, the success or ineffectiveness of a podcast can often be disguised by how a program is ranked on the Apple podcasting charts.

Since this space has turned into the audio version of the wild west, we thought it’d be beneficial to bring back 5 Podcasts in 5 Days and find out which audio shows are checking the right boxes, and which ones could use some fine tuning. The five podcasts we charged Jay with listening to and critiquing were Mystery Crate by Dan Le Batard and Friends, The GM Shuffle with Adnan Virk and Michael Lombardi, The Most Valuable Podcast with Charlotte Wilder and Jess Smetana, Locked on Jazz with David Locke, and Real Sports from BluWire’s Jack Settleman and Abe Granoff.

We hope you’ll find Jay’s reviews of these 5 programs to be informative, honest, and well explained. If you have further feedback you can find him on Twitter @TheRealPodVader or you can email by clicking here. Enjoy!

Title: It’s the perfect time for Anthony Davis to shave his unibrow and rebrand

Date: June 20, 2019

Length: 1 hour, 6 minutes

Cast: Christine Wilder and Jess Smetana, Brandon (the Producer)

Sponsors: none

Production: a music bed to start and end the show

Show Breakdown:

0:00 – Revisiting a trip to Boston for the NHL Finals…more in a bit, but first, the NBA Finals which feel like they finished a long time ago and now free agency is top in the news cycle…Woj Bomb in the middle of Finals that Kawhi won’t resign with the Raptors and he hasn’t even accepted the trophy yet…torn ACL’s are the worst…Did you understand what was happening at the end of that Game with the technical foul?…revisiting last week’s conversation on all sports fans are a**holes, according to tweet, Canadians find Toronto is the a**hole of Canada…

8:25 – Don’t like the uniforms that say “North” – not even the most northern NBA city…Taking pride in local teams like the Portland (Maine) Red Claws…

12:27 – Should we do more NBA free agency stuff since we just talked about the NBA??? Anthony Davis got traded…Jess wouldn’t be a great GM because she likes to be frugal…Would you want to play with LeBron? No, because he’ll make you play in Space Jam 2 and it won’t be as great as the first one…Davis now has the perfect opportunity to look the best he’s ever looked and shave the unibrow…

17:34 – An idea for an app – Kyrie Irving and James Harden ghosting their teams…ghosting is so easy in any relationship, but you really should just say something so that the other person doesn’t hang on…the app will get all the relevant info on the relationship and send the let down information for you…Kyrie could use this with Danny Ainge…

22:00 – Sorry to Charlotte who watched a sucky blowout in Game 7 of the NHL Finals (pretty clear Charlotte is a Bruins fan)…

23:50 – Brandon the Producer jumps in as he doesn’t like mosquitos and Jess just got bit by one…back to the NHL…What would you eat if you just lost the NHL Finals?…Anheuser Busch headquartered in St. Louis?

27:45 – Gary Woodland wins the US Open…didn’t realize it ends on Father’s Day every year…don’t assume because Charlotte is a woman she doesn’t know what she’s talking about with sports…they spoke this outcome into existence in a previous show…shout out to Gary…also, who still names their kids Gary?…he’s also never drank a warm beverage, does soup count?…

32:07 – Let’s talk about the World Cup…our girl Julie Ertz scored a goal vs Chile…the bad tweet from someplace, CBS?, that Zach Ertz left training camp to watch his wife in the world cup – hello, she has a name…we’re beyond this now and Julie Ertz has way more Instagram followers than Zach (but he has more Twitter followers), but Instagram is the way more used platform (well, we’ll discuss that in a moment…)…can everyone just follow us on Instagram?…

37:26 – Do we have any personal news because all it says on the little Google Doc is personal news and nothing below it…

39:27 – We have to cancel something…LaVar Ball…people forgot that he’s been canceled already and he’s still saying stupid things…need to cancel OJ Simpson again because now he’s on Twitter…

44:18 – Some Agro Facts this week…well, basically we’ve found really good brands of dried seaweed

47:29 – Underrated… this week it’s sour cream, the unsung hero of Taco Tuesday

49:53 – Future Wedding to each other…this came up from a viral tweet about going to a wedding with me and still liking me after…

51:32 – The Patriot of the Week…viral video of guy at a baseball game who caught foul ball and chugged a beer

55:36 – Shout out to Summer of #20WineTeen…how do you spell that out?

59:30 – Unofficial Official Mike Trout Fan Club…thanks to everyone pointing out what we should be paying attention to…he’s been really good at the baseball and his W-A-R has been really good…he pet a dog named Moo Moo…

1:02:12 – What is that noise (that the audience can’t hear)? The phone in the podcast room is ringing…

1:03:00 – Mike Trout had a really good transportation tweet…

1:03:58 – Time to go (because they said so and there’s the music bed)…give us high ratings and boost our Instagram

Show Analysis:

When creating a podcast it’s important to know who your target audience is. This podcast is clearly targeted towards millennial sports fans, is internet driven (lots of social media talk), and uses swear words. There isn’t a problem with that at all, but even millennial’s like to hear some cool sounding production elements.

In listening to the show, it’s clear that Jess and Charlotte do some form of prep for their show – because you can hear their transitions from topic to topic. They also mention the “Google Doc” in this episode.

So why don’t they have production elements for their regular segments? If the producer doesn’t have time to create them, why not ask the audience for some help? It’s a great way to forge an everlasting bond with your audience and frankly, sometimes you get some really great work for free.

One thing I struggle with when listening to podcasts that tend to be more on the jovial side is when they tackle subjects that are more serious. In this episode for instance, sexism in sports. I agree that Julie Ertz and any woman playing professional sports should be given the respect of being called by their name, but it’s hard to take Jess and Charlotte seriously when they’re talking about wanting to marry the guy who catches the foul ball and chugs his beer or oogling over Mike Trout petting a puppy. It’s just a little awkward.

Also, I’m assuming there were inside jokes or previous jokes when talking about Mike Trout “being good at the baseball” and his “W-A-R was really good”, but a first time listener may hear that and stereotype it as “another female sports show”. It’s a delicate line to balance and begging for more Instagram followers doesn’t help.

Closing Comments:

While this is definitely not “old guy, stuffy sports program”, there’s still a lack of innovation for a sports podcast. It sounds similar to most other sports radio products with the exception being the show features two women and they’re talking to a younger audience. The sourcing of social media is clever to help drive engagement from an audience that is using the internet to listen to the show, but adding some production would really help this show sing.

I do think there is great potential here with a few tweaks that could help drive how sports radio evolves for future generations. There needs to be a little more effort than just sitting down in a studio for an hour with microphones recording a conversation. It’s a good start, but it can be taken to the next level with a few adjustments.

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