Serial and Start-Up: two great podcasts

Serial is a podcast series that tells one long story over the series of an entire season
StartUp is a series described as “what happens when someone who knows nothing about business starts one.”

I personally do not listen to many podcasts, so when I sit down to listen to podcasts for this assignment I did not know what to expect. I remember a little bit of what Serial was like from the small piece of it we listened to in class. I remember being pulled in by how much the piece sounded like a story you could listen to off audible. Naturally then when I was suppose to be listening to the podcast for nat sounds and podcast techniques, I found myself submerged in the story, to distracted by my fascination of what was going on to pay attention to anything else.

I would call that a tall-tale sign that the podcast is pretty freaking good.

The Serial Podcast is hosted by Sarah Koenig. The premise of the podcast is that it isn’t a new random story every week, but one story per season. The Serial team follows a plot and characters wherever the story leads them, and the audience learns the new information as the story unfolds.

Serial host, Sarah Koenig, helps tells long, investigative stories. PC: YouTube

StartUp podcast is organized much differently. StartUp is a mini-series of podcasts about how to run a start up business and tips and tricks about running and business successfully.

The series is hosted by Alex Blumberg, the CEO of Gimlet Media and award-winning radio journalist. He was a producer for This American Life and the co-founder of Planet Money.

Serial’s podcasts are long and are focused around investigative journalism and in depth reporting, while StartUp is a podcast series are shorter, 20- 30 minute pieces focused on business advice and strategies.

StartUp host, Alex Blumberg, hosts a podcast series about the ins and outs of running a new business. PC: StartUp Website

Even with these differences, listeners can see the similar techniques used by both companies to have successful podcasts.

Both Serial and StartUp have succinct intro music that people can associate with the podcast. There is also good use of music to transition between different topics and interviews.

There is also good variation of music, darker tones when the topics got darker, lighter music when the topics were more easy going. There is also good use of nat, background noise. Simple things like the ringing of a door opening, laughter of a group of students, or opening and closing of drawers in an office.

Above all, both podcasts are informative but in a way that is entertaining and intriguing. The voices of the hosts keep you awake and attentive, both in the tone of their voices but also how they are able to pick topics that will keep an audience entertained. Or can present a podcast in a story format that keeps listeners coming back for more.


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