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The strategy behind WarnerMedia Podcast Network's first indie podcast

June 13, 2019 · By James Cridland · 2.6 minutes to read

WarnerMedia Podcast Network has access to some of the US’s largest media brands, like HBO, CNN and Cartoon Network, but last month they launched a first for the company - a podcast that has nothing to do with any of those names.

Somebody Somewhere is the first independently produced podcast to join WarnerMedia Podcast Network.

VP and GM for WarnerMedia Podcast Network, Tyler Moody, noticed the buzz around Somebody Somewhere Season One, which was published by Rainstream Media on their own. “It garnered a lot of attention and critical acclaim,” he said to Podnews via an emailed interview, “so we started talking as Season 1 was coming to an end about a partnership and how we could help each other when it came time for a Season 2.”

“It was always a part of the plan to distribute original work that didn’t necessarily tie to an existing TV or digital brand, and we’re excited to be working with Rainstream Media. This partnership represents a next step to increase scale and scope in our podcast business.”

There’s a good reason to launch podcasts that aren’t associated with the company’s current brands. Moody says that it’s a different way toward a successful podcast. Looking back at the previous few years of the organisation, previously known as Turner Podcast Network, he says he’s learnt that “there is no one path to podcast success. Whether it’s a weekly show or a finite narrative series, or a complimentary series to a TV show there are many ways to reach an engaged podcast audience. I think it’s all about delivering value. What is your value proposition to the audience? Will they be informed? Will they get behind the scenes insight? Of course they are all meant to be entertainment in some form, but what kind of entertainment? Figure out the purpose of your show and deliver on it.”

It’s been, as ever, an interesting few weeks in the podcasting industry. We noted that there are many changes to the Apple Podcasts categories. Moody welcomed some changes in particular. “Some of the changes to News makes a lot of sense as the “News & Politics” category is pretty broad right now. It will be interesting to see how it helps in discovery. But no matter how many categories get added, I don’t know that every single podcast is going to have a perfect fit. I’m sure there will still be some “tweeners” and people having to decide where there show goes.”

Is there a requirement for an industry association? Moody remains luke-warm about the prospect. “The industry is growing by leaps and bounds, so it’s kinda hard to say it needs help growing. There are probably more opinions about podcasting than there are podcasts, and that’s saying something. I might go back to my answer about shows and ask what the value proposition is for an association and who is the audience?”

Finally, Podcast Movement is almost upon us, and Tyler Moody says he’s looking forward to going. “Every year is different, but I walk away energized about the business in some unexpected way. I don’t know what it will be this year. The best part is always just meeting people face to face, new friends and old friends and getting time together.”

Somebody Somewhere is available on all major podcast platforms, with weekly episodes every Tuesday.

WarnerMedia Podcast Network is a gold supporter of Podnews.

—James is the Editor of Podnews, and was first involved in podcasting in January 2005.

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