Happy 1st Newsletter Anniversary! 🎉

Rumi, I'm Batman, and Guest Pickers!

Hey Poddy People,

A lot to get to! Let’s go.

Newsletter update: This weekend is our official One Year Newsletter anniversary with the start of being consistent in our weekly emails! I first tried Mailchimp before the summer and I was terribly inconsistent trying to figuring things out. As I learned more about startups in general, being consistent with the weekly output helped form the current iteration of Great Pods. We went from four friendly subscribers to over 180. Thank all of you that are listeners, industry folks, and creators. Thanks to our CTO Co-Founder Seb, for even encouraging me to try this. We will have the website anniversary very soon!

The evolution can be seen from the first newsletter that included Milk Street Radio (PRX), Tunnel 29 (BBC), and ESPN Daily (ESPN) on the 50th anniversary of the USC-Alabama college football game. #FightOn

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Website update: We’ve started some of the user testing updates to clarify some confusion. Updates include the following:

  • Changing the Listen Later button back to Listen Now. The Listen Later button did lead to interesting future ideas though.

  • Changed the Reviews tab name to Podcast for clarification since that is where I all the podcasts live.

  • Consolidated the duplicate podcasts on the podcast page (formerly reviews) so multiple reviews for a podcast are now just one podcast listing.

  • Check out the changes.

Incubator update: I visited the USC Incubator office space on Wednesday for the first time. It was all virtual this Summer. My last visit was two football seasons ago, so it felt good to be on campus. However, it was more refreshing to have a quiet office space to do some GP work as well as try our first Twitter Space conversation.

Twitter Space update: We tried out our first Twitter Space conversation with Aftershock podcast Co-Creator/Producer Ben Haber. He was a great conversationalist and I’ll be editing that conversation to a podcast edition for next week’s newsletter. Shoutout to Earbuds/Squadcast Arielle and Mentally? A Magpie Keelin for joining the conversation with additional questions from Tea in the Sahara Kev. Stay tuned.

On to the picks this week…

Podcast: Batman - The Audio Adventures
Genre: Fiction, Comedy
Publisher: HBO Max

Holy Podcast Batman!

HBO Max has launched several new podcasts around their IP and partnership with WB/DC Comics properties. Batman - The Audio Adventures is in the style of an old radio drama and is done surprisingly well. The cast itself is 90% Saturday Night Live (SNL) All-Stars with the likes of Fred Armisen, Seth Meyers, Keenan Thompson, and Melissa Villasenor. Then you have Jeffrey Wright as Batman, Rosario Dawson, Brent Spiner, Brooke Shields, and John Leguizamo. Chris Parnell narrates the story along the way. It’s campy, fun, and mostly what Adi (below) mentions. Puns in the pseudo-commercials are included!

Adi Tantimedh - Bleeding Cool News

“It's as if SNL was completely devoted to Batman and becomes so much funnier as a result.”

Big note: Two episodes are free on all podcast platforms. However, because this is an HBO Max Original, the full 10 episode season is only available on the HBO Max app. The app does not support locked screen listening, at least not yet. I checked with support. Probably should’ve added that feature if you are producing listening material.

Do the Batoosa

Podcast: Throughline
Episode: Afghanistan (Two-Part)
Genre: Documentary, History, Society
Publisher: NPR

I’ve seen a lot of posts, shares, and stories around the two-part episodes on Afghanistan via Throughline. So I had to listen to it. I thought I knew it all. I didn’t. News podcasts will give a little bit of history with the current state of Afghanistan in 5-10 minutes of coverage or less. Throughline takes us further back through the rich cultural history of Afghanistan to give us context which is often lost. From the famous poet Rumi to the artists from the last century. Interspersed are performances of poetry, music, and the many languages of Afghanistan in a slick production that keeps you engaged. They spend the last 30 minutes in part two discussing the history of the Taliban. I believe both episodes to be required listening.

Jonathan Burdick - Erie Reader

“Arablouei and Abdelfatah are contagiously curious in their conversations with knowledgeable guests as they examine the nuances of history often remembered more broadly.”

Afghanistan Parts 1 and 2

Special Picks!

Podcast Pickers: Review That Review with Chelsey Donn & Trey Gerrald
Genre: Comedy, Society
Publisher: The Review Queens (Independent)

For the anniversary, I am trying something different. I asked Chelsey and Trey, The Review Queens, to give me their favorite podcasts that have a Critic review to recommend. We originally made a connection via Twitter (another Arielle shoutout). Because their podcast is very Siskel & Ebert-like, it sorta fits in line with us! Their podcast, Review That Review, pits 5-star reviews and 1-star reviews against each other with comedic commentary from both hosts.

“What Siskel & Ebert did for Cinematic Masterpieces, Chelsey & Trey do for those hilarious, scathing, and sometimes SUSPISH reviews littering Yelp, TripAdvisor, Amazon & TheKnot.”

I listened to the Cryotherapy episode which was delightful with their hilarious hot takes. So give it a listen!

Reviews on Reviews on Reviews on...

Here are their picks from the Great Pods website:

Trey's Pick:

Podcast: Let's Talk to Lucy Podcast
Genre: Conversation
Publisher: Sirius XM

As a kid, I was obsessed with Lucille Ball. I recorded every episode on Nick at Nite, joined the fan club "We Love Lucy, and even read her autobiography. (Yeah, I was a very popular child.) So I was the right audience for this 'found-audio' but aside from all of that, what is truly remarkable about these interviews and conversations is that it really feels like a current-day podcast. It's clear that Lucille was not only a pioneer of television, but it's possible she invented podcasting, too?? Great, charming, and warm conversations with familiar Hollywood guests from the 1960s. A true treat whether you're listening while stomping grapes or baking very very long loaves of bread! Highly recommend it.

Captain Ron’s Note: Yes! The latest episode has Lucy talking about Lucy Day at the World’s Fair. She goes through details of her day that remind me of when my friends tell me to wrap up my long stories. Now I know where I get it from.

Leonard Maltin - LeonardMaltin.com

“It’s clear that Lucy is having a good time and so are her guests, who feel completely at ease. I’ve never heard Frank Sinatra so relaxed...”

Lucy...I'm home!

Chelsey pick:

Podcast: Don't Keep Your Day Job
Genre: Business, Entrepreneurship
Publisher: Cathy Heller (Independent)

I am obsessed with the Don't Keep Your Day Job podcast. It's so inspiring and uplifting. Cathy has a way of putting her audience at ease with the comforting demeanor of a good (and wise) friend. Her enthusiasm makes you believe that it's possible to live your dream life. She also interviews the best of the best. I listen to this podcast on almost every car ride I take (amazing traffic companion). Every single episode is a gem! <3

Captain Ron’s Note: Sounds like startups and podcasts are similar!

Coley Lane Bouschet - Life Goals Mag

“…fascinating and encouraging.”

Live Your Dream!

Thanks for the picks Trey and Chelsea!

You made it this far!

Hot tip time: If you are on your mobile device and visit a podcast page on GP (for example, via the newsletter), our Listen Now button actually opens up your default podcast app straight to that podcast so you can save it for later or listen right away! No searching needed!

Stay safe, wear a mask, be kind, and get vaxxed!

Captain Ron

Great Pods is a website that uses podcast critic reviews and ratings to help you find & decide your next podcast listen.