On Tuesday, BuzzFeed became the latest news organization to begin offering podcasts to its audience. The inaugural editions of “Internet Explorer” and “Another Round,” BuzzFeed’s first two podcasts, went live on iTunes early this morning. The Wall Street Journal’s Steven Perlberg reports:
Both weekly podcasts are hosted by BuzzFeed staffers, and the company hopes to expand the audio offering in the future with things like shorter-run series, news shows and reported pieces, according to Jenna Weiss-Berman, BuzzFeed’s director of audio.
In a post announcing “Internet Explorer,” BuzzFeed staffers described it as a dive into the culture of the Web that examines “all the weird and wonderful rabbit holes of this terrible/fantastic internet that we love so much.” The other podcast, “Another Round,” promises to be an informal look at issues of pop culture, sexuality and race, along with “literally everything” else, according to a BuzzFeed post announcing its launch.
According to an internal memo Weiss-Berman sent to staff Tuesday, BuzzFeed isn’t getting into podcasts because of the so-called “Golden Age of Audio” that has been marked by the runaway success of Chicago Public Media’s “Serial” and the launch of several podcasting companies, like Slate’s Panoply and Gimlet Media. Rather, the company was driven to get into audio by a desire to “connect with our audience in as many ways as we can.”
“Podcasting gives us a chance to bring our storytelling to life in a medium that is new and fresh to us. By hosting these sound-rich talk shows, our writers have had the opportunity to develop their distinct voices, explore topics in real depth, and engage with their audiences in new ways,” Weiss-Berman wrote.
BuzzFeed currently has a podcasting team of two, Weiss-Berman and audio editor Julia Furlan. In April, they’ll be joined by a third, NPR producer Eleanor Kagan.