Earworms: What the industry’s been listening to this week

Reality dating shows take on a new format with podcasting

Podcasts are continuously taking on new formats and experimenting with new topics and themes, and this week’s launches are no exception with the likes of Hang Up, a reality dating show with the same drama and anticipation as you’d see on TV but in audio form instead. 

Other freshly dropped releases and industry recommendations include new official podcasts, cultural deep-dives, true stories, and fascinating interviews which all make for great binge-worthy content for the weekend. 

What’s in the industry’s ears?

Mark Pollard - CEO and founder, Sweathead

My current favourite is All In, which features Chamath Palihapitiya, Jason Calacanis, David Sacks and David Friedberg. The conservatism, their grievances about the elite when they are the elite, and Russian talking points make me flinch but the analysis and counterpoints about what's happening in the world are useful. 

Shivani Dave - Co-founder and producer, Aunt Nell 

I've been listening to Scam Goddess, which if you've not heard of it is a great podcast by a comedian, writer, actor, and Black queer woman who talks to different scam artists and what their scams are with other sorts of creatives. She's absolutely hilarious but I think what's great is her identity really comes through in the podcast without making it about her identity. 

Oliver Lloyd - Strategy director, Attachment London

I’m really enjoying BBC Radio 4’s podcast, Witch. It’s exploring the evolution of magic, imagination and witches in popular culture from origins in folklore to how it manifests in society today. It’s also a really interesting listen on the (pretty horrendous) treatment of women throughout society through the context of religion and politics.

Rose Johnson - Co-host, Birthday Girls House Party

I’ve been enjoying Scamanda - a documentary podcast by Charlie Webster about one of the most deranged scams I’ve ever heard of. It’s a great listen with a blend of in-depth interviews and actors reading the blog posts that formed the bulk of the scam, all presented with the perfect blend of friendliness and incredulity!

Josh Rivers - Host, Busy Being Black podcast 

Poetry Unbound with Pádraig Ó Tuama is one of my favourite things to listen to in the world. His analysis and reading of poetry; I cry regularly and I need to be provoked and prodded. 

Freshly Dropped 

Real Survivor Stories 

Podcast production company Noiser launched a new podcast yesterday titled Real Survival Stories on astonishing tales of ordinary people forced to fight for their lives. The weekly series is narrated by acclaimed British actor John Hopkins and is available to listen to ad-free, with exclusive content and early access, for Noiser+ subscribers. 

The Amplify Project 

Season two of The Amplify Project returned on Monday this week with a new series featuring a range of British Black writers including screenwriter Ben Tagoe, poet Dean Atta, award-winning author Dreda Say Mitchell MBE, poet and playwright Inua Ellams MBE, novelist, journalist, and academic Leone Ross, playwright Roy Williams, screenwriter Theresa Ikoko, and award-winning writer Yomi Sode.

Hang Up 

Radiotopia has launched a podcast reality dating show in which one person is matched with six prospective love interests each season and trials dating them over the phone before eliminating them one by one. The series, titled Hang Up, debuted 25 July and will release a total of 12 episodes weekly. 

The Official AFC Wimbledon Podcast

Football club AFC Wimbledon launched The Official AFC Wimbledon Podcast yesterday, which will feature exclusive interviews with players and staff from the club as well as behind-the-scenes insights from the Cherry Red Records stadium. The fortnightly series is hosted by BBC Radio 5 Live and ITV Football presenter Aaron Paul.

There’s More To That 

Smithsonian Magazine has launched a new podcast, in partnership with PRX, featuring journalists from the science and nature publication talking about the forces behind the biggest issues of our time. The bi-monthly series titled There’s More To That is hosted by Smithsonian magazine editor Chris Klimek and already has two episodes out, each focusing on the history and cultural phenomenon behind films Oppenheimer and Barbie.