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Politics, IP and James Corden on the Menu

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Politics, IP and James Corden on the Menu

With hit dramas including “The Shrink Next Door” and “WeCrashed” having been based on podcasts in recent years, the format has become increasingly popular for screen adaptation.

It’s something Jason Carter, director of The Podcast Show, knows well. Carter, who was head of events at the BBC before he launched the annual market and convention (now in its third year), points to “the incredible value in developing IP” and not just for adaptation.

“Different to traditional broadcasting, where you might come in as a presenter and be paid to host a radio show, you’ve got an opportunity to create your own IP and that IP can be rolled out into not just the podcast and the revenue that you might get from the podcast, but it can be rolled out into a live show…books, content, films,” he says of the medium. It’s a topic that will, naturally, be explored during the show itself, with one panel titled “Creating Valuable IP for TV/Film Adaptation.”

Carter launched The Podcast Show, which is set to take place at the Business Design Centre in London on May 22 and 23, after being approached by a number of big brands in the audio space. “[They said] ‘it’s a bit odd that with the growth of podcasting there isn’t a sort of industry get together of scale, bringing the international podcast community together.” The first partners to come on board were BBC Sounds, Amazon and Spotify among others.

Three years on, the event has over 80 over sponsors and exhibitors with industry execs flying in from across the world. Last year 40% of its 10,000 attendees were from outside the U.K., with the majority of those coming from the U.S. followed by Germany and France. They include new and independent podcasters, business people and senior figures in the industry. The highlights this year include a keynote from iHeartPodcasts president Will Pearon, an interviewing masterclass from veteran broadcaster Kirsty Young and James Corden in conversation with SiriusXM president Scott Greenstein.

“Our vision is to create what Edinburgh [TV] Festival is for entertainment in that there is a human element and experience but also there’s a business aim,” Carter says.

When asked whether a U.S. version of the show is in the works, Carter indicated it might be: “We are looking at doing a number of versions outside of the U.K.

Podcast trends that will be examined during the show this year include the pivot to video podcasting, grappling with AI and, in terms of content, politics. “I don’t think it’s a surprise [since] there’s a U.K. election this election year and a U.S. election.”

With podcasting now big business – and getting bigger each year – is there a danger the market is becoming oversaturated? “It depends, doesn’t it, what position you’re coming from,” Carter replies. “There were 500,000 podcasts in 2018 worldwide. There are now 2 million podcasts. One might argue it’s saturated if you’re in the advertising space or if you’re a new creator that wants to get eyeballs or is on your podcast.”

If there’s once place that’s guaranteed to tackle the topic of oversaturation, it’ll be The Podcast Show, Carter points out: “It’s part of our job as a show to open up that debate and steer [podcasters] in the right way to stand out.”

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