Chart-topping political podcast The Rest is Politics may have a “manifesto” for the next general election, according to the show’s executive producer Tony Pastor.
“Can we actually influence the politicians that we know are listening to reflect the stuff we’re talking about?” asked Pastor.
Pastor, who is also the co-founder and CEO of the podcast’s production company Goalhanger, spoke about the forthcoming general election during a panel discussion with Sky News at The Podcast Show. In addition to having a manifesto, Pastor also said that the company is looking at increasing the volume of The Rest is Politics to daily episodes leading up to the election, as well as potentially going on a nationwide tour that will open up debates across major cities in the country.
Pastor also added that he’s already got Alastair Campbell, co-host of the podcast alongside Rory Stewart, to agree to continue working for Goalhanger during the general election, rather than working for the Labour party.
“I expect podcasting to be embraced by all politicians, because they understand the value of being heard in long-form in a different type of way,” said Pastor.
The Rest is Politics has also recently launched digital video as an extension of the podcast’s format and eight-minute videos of Campbell and Stewart on TikTok have already gotten 750,000. Pastor added that social media has helped the podcast talk to new audiences that wouldn’t have necessarily found them in the “traditional” way.
Other political podcast experts that joined the panel discussion alongside Pastor included Sky News deputy political editor Sam Coates, Reuters Institute senior research associate Nic Newman, and The Spectator political editor Katy Balls. The session was hosted by Sky News presenter Jayne Secker.
In 2019, the general election was labelled as “the social media” election due to mass conversations that were happening on these online platforms. Despite the rising trend in political podcasts, Newman stated that he does not think that this will be called the “podcasts election” but that instead this medium will be used as another way to build conversation.
“How do you get daily content to people who aren’t already listening to podcasts?” said Newman. “That’s what the media companies need to think about.”